New Delhi: Hours after the Rajya Sabha suspended eight opposition MPs for a week for allegedly creating ruckus in Parliament during the passage of the farm bills Sunday, senior BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Bhupender Yadav Monday said the Modi government wanted voting on the Bill but it was the Opposition’s hooliganism that prevented it.
Speaking exclusively to ThePrint, Yadav said, “The opposition MPs jumped into the well of the House, climbed atop chairs, heckled the Chair and broke his mike. How do you expect Parliament to function in a situation like this?”
Following insinuations by some like Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra that it was Yadav who whispered something into the Chair Harivansh Singh’s ears, the Rajya Sabha MP said, “I only wanted proceedings to begin once order is restored.”
The BJP leader added: “When the Bill was about to be tabled in Parliament, the opposition created a ruckus. Unfortunately, all Covid-19 protocols were violated. The opposition members came out in the well and after that they not only tried to manhandle the deputy speaker but they even sat on his table. They tore the rule book, broke the mike. When all this was over, the mike was broken and there was complete silence then what conspiracy could I have hatched? I only wanted to tell that once the mikes are in place again then proceedings should resume.”
The Rajya Sabha Sunday saw unprecedented uproar over the passage of the farm bills, with the opposition MPs alleging that the deputy chairman did not listen to their request to vote. Opposition members had rushed to the well of the House shouting slogans and hurling papers at the deputy chairman.
The ruckus started after the opposition parties, led by Congress’ Ghulam Nabi Azad, wanted the bills to be taken up for passage Monday. But the government didn’t relent, prompting opposition MPs to come to the well of the House and raise slogans.
‘Democracy can’t run on dadagiri‘
Yadav said the government was ready for voting but the Opposition parties did not allow the House to function.
“We were ready for voting. But voting can only happen once the members are seated. The opposition members left their seats. The opposition members came in the well of the House. They pushed people around. Is this why we are sent to the Parliament? Is this called democracy? If they wanted voting then they should have been seated at their designated places. Everyone was ready for voting,” he said.
On being asked how the Bill was passed if voting could not happen because the opposition members were not seated, Yadav said, “They did not allow the House to function. They indulged in gunda gardi (hooliganism). They violated all norms and even stood on the tables of the secretariat staff. Is this why we are sent to the Parliament? Is this called democracy? The opposition itself is being disrespectful. They themselves don’t want any solution. Democracy can’t run on dadagiri (bullying),” he said.
On Opposition’s decision to sit on all-night dharna in the Parliament premises, Yadav questioned what the members are protesting against.
“What exactly is their issue? They are the ones who don’t want to vote. They don’t want to sit in the House. They want to come into the well and violate all protocols of Covid-19. They always interrupt the chairman whenever he tries to speak. They really need to introspect what they want because the public has definitely understood their game that they have nothing to do with work but want to indulge in politics and undermine democracy,” he said.
Agriculture reform bill an ‘important step’
On the question of RSS affiliates Swadeshi Jagran Manch and Bharatiya Kisan Sangh raising concerns over doing away with MSP and APMC, Yadav said: “If there are any concerns we will definitely address it. But this is an important step taken for the welfare of farmers and the government will implement it keeping the interests of the farmers in mind.”
On being asked about the farmers’ protest in Haryana and Punjab despite assurances from the government, Yadav said both states already follow the Contract Act.
“Even Odisha government recently implemented the ordinance and even Tamil Nadu government has accepted it. In 2010, the working group of ministers formed during the Manmohan Singh government that had Bhupender Singh Hooda, Parkash Singh Badal, and Punjab government (on the panel) also recommended the same. If opposition is not doing it, it is merely their political compulsion. But because of their political ambitions and agenda they should not play with the interests of the farmers,” Yadav said.
He also said that no major protests are taking place anywhere in the country. “Even in places where it is happening, we are making farmers understand how this Act is beneficial for them. This is not to abolish the mandis,” he said.
Many states and opposition have questioned the government for not taking them into confidence before going ahead with the agriculture reform bill.
‘Farm bill to have positive impact on upcoming Bihar polls’
“This Bill was pending for many years. If we look at the 2010 working committee report, consultation has been done. We are not creating an alternative policy but making an addition to it and considering there was a general agreement over it, which is why we came up with this Bill,” he added.
Yadav said the Bill will have a positive impact on the upcoming Bihar elections, too, as it is in favour of the farmers.
When asked whether the Modi government would revisit the land acquisition Bill, Yadav said there is no such intent and demand too as many states have already made amendments as required.
“Both are different issues. MSP is on purchases made by the government and this is different. This is for private sector. Those who want to sell on MSP can continue to do so,” he said.
He further said the lie of the opposition will be caught as the government will continue to make purchases on MSP. “We have a mandate till 2024 and till then eight times at least government will make the purchases so the lie of the opposition will be caught automatically,” he said.
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