Continuing their protest against the recently passed farm Bills, Opposition parties Wednesday urged President Ram Nath Kovind not to give his assent to the Bills, claiming that their passage in the Rajya Sabha was “unconstitutional”.
“The government should have consulted all parties, farmer leaders before bringing the farm bills,” Congress MP and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said after the meeting with the President.
“There was no division of votes. The Constitution was undermined in the temple of democracy. We have given a representation to President that farm Bills have been passed unconstitutionally and he should return these Bills,” he told reporters.
The Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020, have been passed by both Houses and await presidential assent.
Amid protests by farmers groups, especially in Punjab and Haryana, the Opposition has termed the Bills “death warrants” for farmers and demanded that they be referred to a select committee. The government has argued that the new Bills will benefit farmers.
Earlier in the day, Opposition MPs took out a silent protest march in the Parliament complex against the contentious Bills. Members of the Congress, Trinamool Congress, CPI, CPI-M, DMK, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Samajwadi Party and the NCP participated in the protest.
The march from Gandhi statue to Ambedkar statue in Parliament was held to protest the “anti-Farmers, anti-Workers Bills that have been rubberstamped in Parliament in the most undemocratic manner by the Modi government,” Congress chief whip in Rajya Sabha Jairam Ramesh said in a tweet.
For two days, Opposition MPs have been boycotting the proceedings in solidarity with farmers and the suspension of eight members from Rajya Sabha.
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