Despite Protests and Opposition’s Request, President Gives Nod to 3 Farm Bills; Maharashtra Says No to Implementation
Despite uproar in Parliament and large-scale protests by farmers, President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday gave his approval to three contentious farm bills. Parliament had recently passed the Farmer's Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020. They were awaiting presidential assent. Soon after the president's assent to the bills, the Maharashtra government announced that it won't implement the "anti-farmers" law in the state. Shiromani Akali Dal, who formally broke ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA a day earlier, announced a 'Kisan March' on October 1.
Opposition Gets Fresh Ammo as Reports Say RS Footage on Farm Bills Uproar Disputes Centre’s Version of Events
Trinamool Congress MP Derek O'Brien on Sunday said the clarification issued by the government about the chain of events which occurred during passage of the contentious farm bills in the Rajya Sabha on September 20 were 'farcical'. He added that video evidence obtained by various media organisations 'shredded' the centre's version, instead. Media reports claim the government's stance on the rules not being followed during the voting in bills in Rajya Sabha on September 20 are discrepant with the television footage of the proceedings.
In Other News
Bihar battle: Former Bihar DGP Gupteshwar Pandey, who recently took VRS, joined JD(U) at Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's residence in Patna. Although the IPS officer has chosen to keep his cards close to the chest, speculation is rife that he may get a ticket from one of the assembly segments in his native district of Buxar.
Questionable: First, workers at state-owned companies got dosed. Then government officials and vaccine company staff. Next, teachers, supermarket employees and people traveling abroad. The world still lacks a proven coronavirus vaccine, but that has not stopped China from trying to inoculate tens of thousands of people outside the traditional testing process.
Passed on: Former union minister and ex-BJP leader Jaswant Singh passed away aged 82 on Sunday. Singh, a former army officer, had been ill after a fall at his home in 2014 and was admitted to the Army Research and Referral Hospital. He has since been in and out of the hospital.
Trouble in paradise?: NCP president Sharad Pawar met Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray here on Sunday. The meeting took place a day after former state chief minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis met Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut here, sparking speculation in political circles.
On Our Specials
Regret: Jaswant Singh was expelled by the BJP for his book on Jinnah.The expulsion was swift and without any glitches, and everyone agreed to it, including LK Advani, who was Singh’s close friend. Some felt the expulsion was triggered more out of political compulsions — that a section of the BJP leadership wanted to down play the fact-finding report on the party’s debacle and Singh was a mere scapegoat. Sumit Pande writes that Singh, the former External Affairs, Finance and Defence Minister of India, had one regret as he left Shimla for Delhi. Party did not give him even an opportunity to present his case.
Labour code 2020: The government has been at the receiving end this past week, from farmers as well as from workers in India’s vast informal sector. It is no coincidence that allegations from both sets of protestors are similar: that the government has leaned towards corporates while abandoning interests of the underdog. These allegations is are emanating from the three new labour code bills and agriculture bills passed by Parliament in the just-concluded Monsoon Session. Sindhu Bhattacharya writes that these bills affect the working conditions of an overwhelming majority of working Indians.