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Parliament repeals farm reform laws

Our Bureau | | Updated on: Nov 29, 2021
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Repeal Bill passed without debate even as Opposition demanded discussion

Both the Houses of Parliament passed the Farm Laws Repeal Bill repealing the three controversial farm reform laws, on Monday on the first day of the Winter Session. The Bill was passed without any debate.

The Opposition, meanwhile, attacked the Centre for not allowing any discussion on the Bill in both the Houses.

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi said the Opposition had mentioned earlier that the farm laws would have to be withdrawn because the might of three or four large crony capitalists cannot stand against the might of the Indian farmers and the Indian labourer. “We wanted to discuss MSP. We wanted to discuss Lakhimpur Kheri (incident in which farmers were killed). We wanted to discuss the 700 farmers, who died in this agitation and unfortunately, that discussion has not been allowed. This is a reflection of the fact that the government is terrified of having this discussion. The government wants to hide. The government does not have the guts to stand up for its action and this is quite unfortunate,” Gandhi charged.

Opposition demand

The Opposition MPs stormed to the Well of the House in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha demanding a discussion on the Bill.

In the Lok Sabha, Speaker Om Birla said a debate can be allowed only if there’s decorum in the House.

In the Rajya Sabha, Opposition leader Mallikarjun Kharge said the laws are being repealed after the BJP suffered setbacks in bypolls in various States. He said the farmers have been demanding that the laws should be repealed but the Centre took a decision only ahead elections to five States.

Leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said the list of the business clearly said that the Repeal Bill will be considered by the House before passing.

Meanwhile, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar presented the Bill and the House passed it with a voice vote amid slogans from Opposition parties. Tomar said in Rajya Sabha that since both the Opposition and the Government want the Bills to be repealed, there is no need for a discussion on the Repeal Bill.

The three farm reform law repealed are: The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

Tomar said in the Statement of Objects and Reasons of the Bill that the three laws provided freedom to the farmers to sell their produce to any buyer at any place of their choice to realise remunerative prices and created an ecosystem wherein processor, bulk buyers, organised retailers and exporters and the like can directly engage with the farmers.

Farm protest

The Samyukt Kisan Morcha, the organisation spearheading the farmers’ protests demanding the repeal of the laws, will meet on Wednesday to take a final decision on the next of their struggles. Organisations representing farmers of Punjab are likely to suggest that the protests should be temporarily suspended in view of the Centre’s decision. The SKM said history has been made when the anti-farmers laws got repealed in Parliament.

 

 

Published on November 29, 2021

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