The process of consultation and arriving at a consensus on the smooth running of Lok Sabha seems to have hit a deadlock with opposition parties adamant on dedicated five hours for discussion in Parliament on farm laws and the ongoing farmers’ agitation.
This demand has been communicated to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla in an array of meetings with floor leaders and whips of political parties came to a naught as government cited precedents where the first discussion on motion of thanks for presidential address with a reply from the Prime minister followed by a general discussion on Union budget with a reply from the minister took place.
Sources in the government said that a separate time for debate other than the motion of thanks on President’s address cannot take place before the latter’s conclusion and reply by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“The opposition was asked to discuss and debate on farmers agitation and laws during part of the discussion on motion of thanks on President’s address. This cannot be in the first part of the session. They can be allowed in the next part of the session that begins from March 8,” the source added.
While the government is citing rules and laws and set standard procedures to back its case while allowing opposition parties to debate farmers agitation, the opposition is adamant on a separate five hours or a day on farmers issues. The government acceded to the opposition’s demand to increase the 10 hours dedicated for debate to 15 hours.
After one meeting with the Speaker, Saugatha Roy of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) said that the opposition wants a dedicated time frame for debate on farmers’ agitation.
While there were efforts throughout the day by the government and the speaker to reach a consensus in order to run the house smoothly, meetings post-session were convened in the office of Union Home minister Amit Shah where he met Chief Union Parliamentary Affairs ministers and the Chief whip.
When asked why they do not respond and debate in the house, leaders of the opposition have said that they only want to debate on farmers issues and agitation.