Twelve Opposition parties on Sunday (September 20) gave a notice for a no-confidence motion against Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh over the manner in which two farm Bills were passed in the Upper House after he overruled their pleas for an adjournment of the proceedings.
The Rajya Sabha passed The Farmers and Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, through voice votes, amid the din caused by opposition protests.
The parties that have submitted the notice include the Congress, All India Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party, Telangana Rashtra Samithi, CPI, CPM, Nationalist Congress Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal, National Conference, DMK and the Aam Aadmi Party.
Congress leader Ahmed Patel said 12 parties have given a notice of no-confidence against the deputy chairman, as the manner in which the Bills were passed is a murder of democracy.
“Our demand for adjourning the House and division of votes was disallowed, he said. “We gave a no-confidence against the attitude of Deputy Chairman and the manner in which the Bills were passed.”
JD(U) leader Harivansh was reelected as the Deputy Chairman of the Upper House on September 14, the first day of the ongoing Monsoon Session.
Patel said the Deputy Chairman should have safeguarded democratic traditions but harmed them instead.
The protesting members sat in Rajya Sabha after the House was adjourned following the passage of the Bills.
TMC MP Derek OBrien also accused the government of “murdering” the Parliamentary system and democracy. “The government did not allow the Opposition a vote on the farmers bills. It is a sad day for the Parliamentary democracy,” he said.
The TMC MP alleged that the government knew that it did not have the numbers and that is why they did not allow a division of votes. “Today, the BJP tried to break the back of yet another great institution of our democracy: Parliament.
“The basic rights of MPs guaranteed by the Constitution are snatched. No vote allowed in RS on farmers bills. Todays day will be written in black letters,” he said.
Meanwhile, BJP president J P Nadda and other senior party leaders on Sunday hailed Parliament’s nod to two farm sector reform bills, which, they said, will give farmers freedom in selling their produce and rid them of middlemen.
Lauding the bills, he asserted that the minimum support price (MSP) and Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMC) will continue even as farmers will get more and better options under these bills, which will become laws after being notified. “Showing foresight, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken these steps for a better future for farmers. They will play an important role in doubling their income,” he said.
The Congress and its leader Rahul Gandhi do not want to see farmers empowered, he said. The Congress did nothing to undertake any reform to empower farmers and this is an old habit of the party to do politics by misleading the poor and farmers, Nadda alleged.
“Farmers are aware of the double-face of the Congress and will not be misled by it,” he said.
(With inputs from agencies)