Amid an unprecedented uproar and chaos in the Rajya Sabha, two of the major farmer bills were passed by the house, despite the opposition asking for the bills to be sent to a select committee for further discussion.
The opposition, which claimed that the ruling BJP did not have the numbers in the house, said that the government violated all rules in a democratic system. The Trinamool Congress’s Derek O’Brien terming it a “murder of democracy”.
The farmer bills passed previously by the lower house were already received with huge protests by farmer groups across the country, especially in Haryana and Punjab.
In the Rajya Sabha on Sunday, the opposition had demanded physical voting for the bill, indicating that they were physically present in the parliament and can do that. However, the chair refused and this resulted in strong protest with opposition leaders storming the Well of the House.
Insisting that the rules for a democratic process was not being followed, O’ Brien, whose point of order was not accepted, said, “This is a brutal murder of the Parliamentary democratic system”.
Initially, when introducing the bill, the government said that the bills are ‘historic’ and insisted that the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce Bill, and the Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, will bring a change in the lives of the farmers.
The two bills were later passed by a voice vote, all this amid the silenced and mute screen of the Rajya Sabha television. Ironically, to not disclose the protests in the house, the Rajya Sabha TV was muted, prompting many legislators to record the ruckus unfolding on their phones. The Bills were passed hurriedly amid the din.
MPs from opposition parties now sitting in dharna INSIDE Rajya Sabha. The opposition wanted a vote (division) on #FarmBills Govt pushed bills denying Oppn legit right
Here is video #2 pic.twitter.com/GOru0l7oQZ
— Derek O'Brien | ডেরেক ও'ব্রায়েন (@derekobrienmp) September 20, 2020
The ruling BJP then alleged that the TMC leader O’ Brien tore the rule book at the well of the house, however, the TMC leader denied the charges, claiming that he only displayed the rule book to the chair of the house.
At a time when a democratic process calls for extensive debates about bills that are bound to affect many at large, here concerning the farmers across the country, the government hurriedly pushed through the bills, without allowing any room for discussion and further scrutiny of the same.
Today, eight opposition leaders, including TMC Derek O’Brien, AAP’s Sanjay Singh, and congress’s Rajeev Satav and CPM’s KK Rajesh were suspended from the Rajya Sabha for a week by the said Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu.