The Congress and the ruling BJP members on Friday traded charges over the farmers issue in the Lok Sabha, after the opposition members accused the government of doing nothing to help the crisis-hit peasants. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar accused the Congress of “shedding crocodile tears”, noting that it had walked out of the House on Wednesday when other members sat for hours to debate the issue.
The protests occurred during the Question Hour and later during the Zero Hour when Congress members trooped into the Well and shouted slogans. During the Question Hour, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan repeatedly told them their action was not proper. Similar scenes were witnessed when the House took up Zero Hour when Kumar too attacked the protesting Congress members,who then staged a walk out. Raising the issue during the Zero Hour, Deepender Hooda(Cong) said the farmers had hit the streets from Andhra Pradesh to Haryana and Madhya Pradesh and his party was not satisfied with the government’s reply.
BJP members kept asking what the Congress government did for the past 60 years, he said, retorting that farmers were deeper into debt in the last three years of the NDA government than they were ever earlier. In its reply, the government has not touched upon the demand for waiving off of farm loans and implementing the Swaminathan commission report, Hooda said.
Amid protests by BJP members against Hooda’s remarks, Kumar hit back at the Congress and asked why its members were not present on Wednesday when a long-drawn discussion on the issue lasted till 10.30 PM at night. “Where were Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi? Where were you? Now you are shedding crocodile tears… You are now showing false sympathies,” the Minister told the Congress members. Citing schemes like farm insurance and easy availability of fertilizers, the parliamentary affairs minister said no government had done so much for farmers as the Modi government did in the last three years.