Budget Session of Parliament: Opposition parties walk out of RS, seek discussion on farmers' agitation

Earlier, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu had asked Opposition MPs to raise the issue during the discussion on Motion of Thanks to the President's address

Press Trust of India February 02, 2021 11:08:08 IST
Budget Session of Parliament: Opposition parties walk out of RS, seek discussion on farmers' agitation

File image of Parliament building. PTI

New Delhi: Opposition parties including the Congress, Left, TMC and DMK on Tuesday staged a walkout from the Rajya Sabha after their demand for suspension of business of the day to take up a discussion on more than two-month-old farmers' agitation was rejected by the Chairman.

The Opposition parties had given notice under Rule 267 calling for the suspension of business of the day to take up discussion on the ongoing agitation by farmers on Delhi borders against three new farm laws.

When the House met for the day, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said he has received notice under rule 267 from various members but the issue can be raised during the discussion on Motion of Thanks to the President's address to the joint sitting of both House of Parliament.

The President, he said, had referred to the farmers' agitation in his address made at the start of the Budget session of Parliament last week.

While the Lok Sabha is scheduled to start a discussion on the motion on Tuesday, the Rajya Sabha will do so on Wednesday.

"As we are going to start a discussion on Motion of Thanks to President's Address tomorrow, members can participate and raise their concerns," he said rejecting the 267 notice.

He said several rounds of discussions have happened between the government and the farmers'' group.

"I understand the concern (of members) for the need to resolve the issue at the earliest date," he said.

Farmers have been camping on Delhi's border with Uttar Pradesh and Haryana for over two months now, protesting against three farm laws that they say would favour corporate entities and would bring down the curtain on minimum support price (MSP) based procurement by the government.

The government has vehemently denied these allegations and stated that MSP will continue.

Naidu, however, allowed members who gave notices to make very brief mentions.

Leader of the Opposition and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said the farmers have been camping for more than two months and the issue needs to be discussed.

Sukhendu Sekhar Roy (TMC) said the House is not aware of what is going on between the government and farmers and the House should discuss the issue separately from the Motion of Thanks.

"We want a discussion on a specific issue," he said.

While CPI leader Elamaram Kareem said water and electricity supply to the protest sites has been cut, DMK's Tiruchi Siva said farmers have been sitting on roads for over two months in the bitter cold and the issue needs to be discussed separately.

Manoj Jha (RJD) said Parliament should at least discuss the issue.

However, Naidu did not agree to their motion after which the members of Congress, Left, TMC, DMK and RJD staged a walkout.

"No one is stopping you from discussing the issue tomorrow. Tomorrow you will get an opportunity," he said.

Naidu said 10 hours have been allocated for discussion on Motion of Thanks to the President's address and an equivalent amount given for discussion on the Budget. "Please take the opportunity tomorrow," he said.

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