Lok Sabha resumed normal functioning today after a week-long disruption over the three union farm laws that seek to set farmers free from mandi-control following an appeal by defence minister Rajnath Singh that it was a duty of every member to maintain the tradition of passing the Motion of Thanks to President’s address.
After the Lok Sabha convened at 5 PM, the defence minister said the tradition of thanking the president has been continuing for long and it should not be broken in a healthy democracy.
Singh said that the Rajya Sabha had already passed the Motion of Thanks after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reply and “I appeal to members not to break this tradition in the Lok Sabha”.
Singh said that members are free to speak on farm laws during the discussion on the Motion of Thanks.
West Bengal Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that this tradition had been continuing since 1921 and should not be broken.
“Our demand was to discuss the issue of farmers who have been sitting in the cold on the borders of Delhi in protest against farm laws. It is regrettable that they are being stopped from entering the capital by sharp nails and barbed wires,” the INC leader in the house said referring to the reinforced barricading at the farmers’ protest sites.
Chowdhury said the opposition wanted an assurance from the government for a standalone discussion on the farmers’ issue either after the debate on Motion of Thanks or after the discussion on Budget.
Speaker Om Birla also appealed to the members to allow the House to function and not indulge in sloganeering.
Members of the opposition had repeatedly disturbed the businesses of the Lok Sabha, as well as the Rajya Sabha, from 2 February over the three laws aimed at reforming India’s agriculture sector that the parliament passed in September 200.
Earlier Birla had called a meeting of leaders of different political parties to break the impasse in the House.
In the meeting, an agreement was reached to resume its normal functioning with Singh making an appeal to start the debate on President’s address.