Congress, opposition parties boycott Lok Sabha proceedings, seeks withdrawal of farm bills

Congress and some other opposition parties on Tuesday boycotted the proceedings of Lok Sabha, hours after they boycotted the proceedings in the Rajya Sabha, over the government “not agreeing” to opposition suggestions on the agriculture bills.

Soon after the House met after an adjournment, Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury raised the issue and said the government should take back the agriculture bills which have been passed by the two Houses.

He said the bills have not been signed by the President and the government can take them back.

Chowdhury said Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha are “twin brothers” and referred to the proceedings in the upper House but Speaker Om Birla said that these will not go on record.

“Our issue is related to the farm bills, we want it to be taken back. At least MSP should have been included (in the bills). Punjab is burning,” Chowdhury said.

He said former union minister Sharad Pawar was also observing fast.

Chowdhury said if Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar “agrees to take the bills back, we have no problem with continuing”.

He said they were “with opposition parties’ boycott” and were “boycotting” the proceedings of Lok Sabha. Members of Congress, DMK, Trinamool Congress and National Conference were among those who walked out of the House.

Union Parliament Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said that it is unfortunate that the proceedings of the upper House were sought to be discussed in the House.

“Whatever happens in other House, it has never been discussed in another House. It is unfortunate that this thing is being discussed now,” he said.

Tomar said that Congress was indulging in “double-speak”.

“Congress ke daant khane ke aur hain, dikhane ke aur. They say one thing in the House and another outside. Those protesting aren’t farmers, they are related to Congress, nation knows it. The reforms will help farmers and boost their income. Congress is peddling lies. We said that MSP will continue. Congress behaviour in Rajya Sabha is condemnable,” he said.

The Rajya Sabha had witnessed unruly scenes on Sunday as Opposition members stormed the well of the House and came near the podium, where Deputy Chairman was seated, to protest against the Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020.

Eight opposition MPs were suspended by the Rajya Sabha Chairman on Monday over the ruckus created in the Upper House. Congress and some other opposition parties on Tuesday boycotted the proceedings of Rajya Sabha after remarks of Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad.

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