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Friday, December 03, 2021

BJP whip to Rajya Sabha members: Be present on first day of Winter Session

🔴 Sources said a three-line whip issued to the members of Rajya Sabha asking them to be present the entire day shows the government’s intent to repeal the contentious farm laws.

Written by Liz Mathew | New Delhi |
Updated: November 26, 2021 6:19:39 am
BJP Thursday issued a three-line whip for its members in the Rajya Sabha to remain present in the house to support the government. (RSTV/PTI)

In an indication of the government’s intent to repeal the three contentious farm laws in the first week of the Winter Session of Parliament, the ruling BJP on Thursday issued a whip for its members in Rajya Sabha to remain present in House to support the government through the day on November 29.

“All BJP MPs in Rajya Sabha are hereby informed that some very important business will be up for discussion and passing in the Rajya Sabha on Monday the 29 November 2021. All members of the BJP in Rajya Sabha are, therefore, requested to be positively present in the House throughout the day on Monday, 29 November and support the government’s stand,” said the whip issued by Shiv Pratap Shukla, the party’s chief whip in the Upper House.

The BJP MPs in Lok Sabha have not received any whip yet. Sources in the government said a whip is likely to be issued for the party MPs in the Lower House members too by Sunday.

The Winter Session begins on November 29 and is scheduled to conclude on December 23.

Asked if the whip for Rajya Sabha indicates the government’s move to bring in the Bill to repeal three farm laws in the first week itself, a minister said, “This indicates the government’s eagerness to keep the Prime Minister’s promise to farmers.”

The Farm Laws Repeal Bill, 2021 is expected to be tabled in the first week itself to repeal 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.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in an address to the nation last week, announced that the government would repeal the three laws against which farmers of Punjab, Haryana and parts of Uttar Pradesh have been protesting. Punjab and Uttar Pradesh are going to polls early next year.

On Wednesday, the Cabinet approved the repeal of the laws.

The move could force the Opposition, which appears to be keen on discussing the controversial Bills on the floor of the House, to keep aside its “disruptions” and join the debates. “And it could strengthen the possibility of an effective session. The government is prepared with its counter strategy against the Opposition’s criticism,” said a BJP leader.

The government has listed 26 new Bills, including one to create a facilitative framework to produce official digital currency, for the four-week session. The session is also expected to witness introduction of the Electricity (Amendment) Bill to de-license power distribution and the Bills meant to extend tenure of the CBI and ED directors to five years from two years. Both the proposed legislation have already drawn criticism from the Opposition.

While the presiding officers of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have convened a meeting of floor leaders of all parties this weekend, the government also has called an all-party meeting on Sunday to discuss the session.

The Monsoon Session of Parliament witnessed uproarious scenes and was almost a wash-out over the farm Bills and the allegations related to the use of Pegasus spyware.

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