Lok Sabha passes bill to repeal 3 farm laws; Oppn raises issue of farmers' welfare

PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 29-11-2021 18:42 IST | Created: 29-11-2021 18:42 IST
Lok Sabha passes bill to repeal 3 farm laws; Oppn raises issue of farmers' welfare
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A bill to repeal the three contentious agricultural laws, against which farmers have been protesting for over a year, was passed by the Lok Sabha on Monday without a debate, within minutes of its introduction.

Opposition members from the Congress, the TMC, the DMK and other parties disrupted proceedings, seeking a debate and raising farmers' issues, leading to repeated adjournments.

Soon after the House reassembled at noon following a brief adjournment on the first day of the Winter Session, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar introduced the Farm Laws Repeal Bill, 2021 through which the three laws, passed by Parliament in September last year, were repealed.

According to the Statement of Objects and Reasons of the bill, ''Even though only a group of farmers are protesting against these laws, the government has tried hard to sensitise the farmers on the importance of the farm laws and explain the merits through several meetings and other forums.'' Without taking away the existing mechanisms available to farmers, new avenues were provided for trade of their produce, it read.

''Besides, farmers were free to select the avenues of their choice where they can get more prices for their produce without any compulsion. However, the operation of the aforesaid farm laws has been stayed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India. During the Covid period, the farmers worked hard to increase production and fulfil the needs of the nation. As we celebrate the 75th Year of Independence -- 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav', the need of the hour is to take everyone together on the path of inclusive growth and development,'' it said.

''In view of the above, the aforesaid farm laws are proposed to be repealed...'' the bill's statement of objects said.

As the House was considering the bill, Speaker Om Birla said he was ready to allow a discussion on it, provided the protesting MPs went back to their seats and there was order in the House.

''You want debate, I'm ready to allow a debate when there is order in the House. But if you come to the Well, how can there will be a debate,'' he said and asked the members to take their seats.

Birla said a discussion is not possible when the MPs were standing in the Well, holding placards.

However, the opposition did not pay heed to his appeal and continued their protests.

Congress leader in the House Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury asked that since the bill is listed for consideration and passage, then why is there no discussion on it.

As the turmoil continued, the speaker took a voice vote and declared the bill passed. Subsequently, he adjourned the House till 2 pm.

Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, Dharmendra Pradhan, Smriti Irani, Bhupender Yadav, Ashwini Vaishnaw and a host of other ministers were present in the House when the repeal bill was passed.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav and National Conference's Farooq Abdullah were among those present in the House.

Earlier in the day, House proceedings were adjourned till noon amid din as opposition members sought to raise the issue of deaths of farmers during their protests against the farm laws A little after 2 pm, proceedings of the House were adjourned for the day as opposition members continued their protest over issues pertaining to farmers.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced on November 19 that the three farm legislations would be repealed.

The three laws are Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act; The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act; and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act.

While addressing the nation, Modi had said that the Centre could not convince protesting farmers about the benefits of these laws and urged them to end their protest.

The repeal of these legislations has been one of the key demands of around 40 farmer unions protesting against these reforms for nearly a year now at various Delhi border points.

These laws, which were under suspension following a Supreme Court order in January this year, had triggered widespread protests by thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, at Delhi borders.

The protest, which started in November 2020, is still continuing.

On November 21, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) -- the joint body of farmer unions leading the current protests -- had written to the prime minister to immediately resume talks on the farmers' six demands, including legal guarantee for procurement of crops at MSP.

The other demands were sacking and arrest of Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra in connection with the Lakhimpur Kheri incident, withdrawal of cases against farmers and building of a memorial for those who lost their lives during the agitation.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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