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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

‘Shameless’: Opp mounts attack on Govt

While the Congress said the government was “terrified” of having a discussion, the CPI(M) called it a “murder of India’s parliamentary democracy”, the Trinamool Congress called it “shameless”, and the RJD said it was “undemocratic”.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
November 30, 2021 1:06:48 am
Opposition lawmakers hold a protest near a Gandhi statue demanding repeal of three controversial farm laws on the opening day of the winter session of Parliament in New Delhi, India, Monday, Nov.29, 2021. (AP)

THE OPPOSITION parties criticised the government for stonewalling their demand for a discussion on the Farm Laws Repeal Bill, 2021, which was passed by Parliament on Monday.

While the Congress said the government was “terrified” of having a discussion, the CPI(M) called it a “murder of India’s parliamentary democracy”, the Trinamool Congress called it “shameless”, and the RJD said it was “undemocratic”.

Speaking to reporters, senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said the Congress had predicted that the government would have to take back the farm laws as it knew that the “might of three-four large crony capitalists cannot stand against the might of farmers and labourers”.

“What is unfortunate is how the Bills have been repealed without any discussion, without any conversation. We wanted to have a conversation about the forces behind these Bills, because these Bills don’t just reflect the view of the Prime Minister, they reflect the power behind the Prime Minister, the power of people and forces behind the Prime Minister, and that is what we wanted to discuss,” he said.

On the BJP’s argument that there was no need for a discussion since the farm Bills were being repealed, he said: “Then what is the need for Parliament. Shut it down. Then the Prime Minister can say whatever he wants and enact whatever laws he wants to enact.”

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said while the Prime Minister sermonises on debates in Parliament, no discussion was allowed in both Houses. “It is a murder of India’s parliamentary democracy,” he said.

“Modi I (2014-19): Repealing & Amending Bill 2017 was one instance. Six MPs participated in the discussion. A fig leaf of democracy then. Some shame. Modi II (2019-today): #FarmLaws Repeal Bill 2021 taken up and passed. No debate allowed. Not even a fig leaf of democracy. Shameless,” tweeted TMC Rajya Sabha floor leader Derek O’Brien.

BSP chief Mayawati said the passage of the Bill was a “real victory of democracy” but questioned the government’s “silence” over the demand for a legal guarantee for minimum support price.

“People cannot forget the manner in which farm laws were passed and they would always remember the ‘undemocratic’ style in which farm laws were repealed… the only consistent feature of this regime is to decimate democratic processes and procedure 24X7. Yet this ‘phase’ too shall pass,” said senior RJD leader Manoj Jha.

“Passed without discussion; repealed without discussion. A new model of democracy for a new India,” National Conference leader Omar Abdullah tweeted.

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