Formalising the act of buckling under the pressure of anarchists, the Indian parliament passed the bill to repeal the three farm reform laws via voice vote today, the first day of the winter session. Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar placed the Farm Laws Repeal Bill 2021 in Lok Sabha.
INC leader Adhir Ranjan Choudhury demanded a discussion on the bill but was disallowed by Speaker Om Birla.
A single bill was introduced to repeal the three laws- the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance, Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
The bill was passed via voice vote amid sloganeering by opposition MPs.
Tomar placed the bill in the Raya Sabha shortly after the housed reconvened at 2 PM.
Before the motion was adopted for the passage of the bill in the upper house of the parliament, Deputy Chairman Harivansh allowed Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge to speak for two minutes.
Kharge was of the view that the government has taken back the three farm laws in view of the forthcoming elections in five states after reviewing the results of recent by-elections.
The agriculture minister then moved the motion and said that the three laws were brought for the benefit of farmers. He regretted that the government could not convince the agitating farmers about the benefits of the laws. He said as both the government and the opposition parties are for repeal of the laws, so there was no need for any discussion on the farm repeal bill.
Like in the Lok Sabha, the Rajya Sabha passed the bill via voice vote and without discussion. Some INC and Trinamool Congress members came down to the well to protest the passage of the bill without debate.
Earlier in the day, INC MPs led by Sonia and Rahul Gandhi staged a protest in front of the Gandhi statue within the Parliament premises, demanding the three laws be repealed.
Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait welcomed the passing of the bill in the Lok Sabha and said “This (Farm Laws Repeal Bill, 2021 passed by Lok Sabha) is a tribute to all 750 farmers who lost their lives during the agitation. The protest will continue as other issues including MSP are still pending.”
Farmers have been sitting at protests at several border points of Delhi for over a year, demanding the repeal of the three laws.
PM Modi in an address to the nation on 19 November had announced that the three laws will be repealed.
The union cabinet approved the bill in a meeting last Wednesday.
Farmers protesting at Delhi’s borders have declined to end their agitation, despite the government agreeing to their primary demand of repealing the three farm laws. They are now seeking a law to guarantee MSP for their produce.