‘Strongly condemn aggression towards deputy chairman’: Rajnath Singh

Parliament witnessed chaos during the voice vote to pass The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020.
Rajnath Singh

The government on Sunday said it strongly condemned the “aggressive and violent behaviour” by opposition members towards the Rajya Sabha vice-chairman during the debate to pass the two farm bills in the House.

Addressing a press conference along with several of his colleagues, defence minister Rajnath Singh said: “Whatever happened was against parliamentary dignity. It has delivered a big blow. Rule books were torn, other important papers were torn. Mikes were snatched. Opposition members were in the well and attempts were made to climb onto the vice-chairman’s chair.”

He was joined by his colleagues Prakash Javadekar, Prahlad Joshi, Piyush Goyal, Thawar Chand Gehlot and Mukhtar Abbas Naqwi.

Parliament witnessed chaos during the voice vote to pass The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020.

Opposition members, claiming that their demand for a division vote was being ignored, attempted to stall the proceedings and raised slogans in the well of the house, leading to an adjournment for 10 minutes.

“Such an incident has never happened in the history of Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha. It is all the more unfortunate that this happened in Rajya Sabha, which is known as the house of elders,” Singh said.

At a press conference in the evening, Singh said the opposition was trying to mislead farmers. “Neither minimum support prices (MSPs) nor agriculture produce market committee are going to be ended. Our government has increased MSPs and they will never be ended under any circumstances,” Singh said.

On the issue of no confidence motion against deputy chairman Harvansh, Singh said: “Notice has gone. Chairman will decide. It is his prerogative.”

On the resignation of Shiromani Akali Dal minister in the Modi Cabinet, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Singh said there were political reasons behind it and he would not like to comment on it.

“There was full discussion from 9.30 am to 1.30 pm. Even if one were to assume that the opposition was being ignored, are they right to get violent and attack the deputy chairman?” Singh asked.

On the question of opposition MPs seeking a division vote and being ignored, minister of minority affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the deputy chairman kept urging opposition MPs to go to their seats and demand a division vote.

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