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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Agitation, farmers’ deaths rock Haryana House as women MLAs conduct proceedings

Congress MLA Shelly said the government talks of doubling farmers' income on one hand and on the other, it has brought “black” farm laws. “When farmers don't need these laws, why are these being thrust upon them,” she asked, stressing that the laws should be rolled back.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh |
March 9, 2021 12:34:31 am
Dandi March, Mahatma Gandhi, Salt Satyagraha, Delhi border, farmers protest, Sabarmati Ashram, delhi famer's protest, indian express opinion, K Aravindakashan opinion, indian express opinionFarmers at protest on Delhi border. (Express Photo by Amit Mehra)

The issues of the ongoing agitation against agri laws, farmers’ deaths and remarks made by the members of the ruling dispensation, including agriculture minister JP Dalal, rocked the Haryana Assembly Monday as women members presided over the proceedings.

Congratulating the women members on International Women’s Day, Speaker Gian Chand Gupta announced names of four MLAs — Seema Trikha (BJP), Naina Singh Chautala (JJP), Geeta Bhukkal (Congress) and Kiran Chaudhary (Congress) — to conduct proceeding of the House for the remaining day after the Question Hour.

As they initiated the debate on the Governor’s address, Seema Trikha and Naina Chautala spelled out welfare initiatives taken by the BJP-JJP government for farmers and women. However, Geeta Bhukkal launched a scathing attack on the government and flashed photos of several farmers who died at Delhi’s borders during the ongoing agitation. Her party colleague Kiran Choudhry was in the seat of the presiding officer.

Accusing the state government of adopting an insensitive attitude, she said, “These are the farmers who sacrificed their lives while struggling for their legitimate rights. These are the farmers who lost their lives while fighting against the three farm legislations. The prime minister and the chief minister should fulfill their duties, acknowledge the sacrifice of farmers and accept their demands. On the contrary, the agriculture minister [JP Dalal] is sitting here and not saying anything”.

“Farmers want to put their word before elected representatives but they have no time to listen to them. In the country, where slogans of Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan are raised, this is the situation of farmers. Why are mandis getting shut? Why are corporates being promoted? They had been saying MSP was there and will always be there. But where is the MSP,” she asked.

The treasury benches objected to Bhukkal’s remarks pertaining to mandis getting shut. Defending the government, Agriculture Minister JP Dalal and Transport Minister Mool Chand Sharma claimed that a falsehood is being spread.

“Not even a single mandi has been shut till date. She is only misleading the House,” Dalal said while addressing the Speaker.

After a brief exchange of words between the treasury and opposition benches, Bhukkal hailed Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s obituary reference to the farmers who died during the ongoing agitation.

Independent MLA Sombir Sangwan, who has withdrawn support from the government over the issue of agri laws, termed the ongoing farmers’ stir as “largest peaceful agitation of world”. “After introduction of three black laws, the middle class of the society will also stand finished,” Sangwan alleged.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kanwar Pal asked opposition members how much increase in crop MSP was affected during 10 years of their rule. “What was the condition of farmers then, what is it now,” he asked.

Accusing Congress MLAs of “misleading House”, Gujjar said the state government sympathizes with those who died during the farm agitation. “The death of anyone is painful, but the Congress and the leaders who directly encouraged the elderly farmers to sit on the agitation site are solely responsible for the deaths of farmers on the border.”

Congress MLA Shelly said the government talks of doubling farmers’ income on one hand and on the other, it has brought “black” farm laws. “When farmers don’t need these laws, why are these being thrust upon them,” she asked, stressing that the laws should be rolled back.

Directing questions at Congress MLAs, the Education Minister asked them to share what is wrong with the agri laws.

Independent MLA Devender Singh Babli, who is supporting the Khattar government, asked why “step-motherly treatment” is being extended to Tohana, his constituency.

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