Parliament Monsoon Session Live Updates: A fresh round of protests erupted in the Rajya Sabha on Monday morning after Chairman Venkaiah Naidu expressed “deep pain” over the ruckus on Sunday, and passed a motion of suspension against eight opposition MPs over their “unruly behaviour”. Naidu also rejected the opposition’s no-confidence motion against Deputy Chairman Harivansh following the uproar yesterday.
“I was deeply pained by what happened yesterday. All social distancing and Covid protocols were violated. Whatever happened, defied logic. It was a bad day for the Rajya Sabha. The deputy chairman was physically threatened. I was worried for his physical being,” Naidu told the House.
On Sunday, the uproar in the Upper House broke out over the Deputy Chairman’s decision to extend the session beyond the scheduled 1 pm while overruling Opposition pleas to continue discussions on the contentious farm Bills the next day. The House witnessed tumultuous scenes during the passage of the contentious farm bills as members from Opposition parties snatched and threw papers from the table and even broke the chairman’s mic.
TMC member Derek O’Brien attempts to tear the Rule Book during the ruckus in Rajya Sabha on Sunday. (Screengrab)
Dismissing Opposition objections and pleas, the government pushed through two key farm Bills in Rajya Sabha on Sunday amid unprecedented scenes of chaos, confusion, and ruckus. Agitated Opposition members, protesting the extension of the House sitting beyond the scheduled end at1 pm, tore copies of the Bills, broke microphones on the Chairman’s table, flung a copy of the Rule Book at the presiding officer, and then sat on a dharna in the House even after it was adjourned for the day.
Never unsure of its numbers in the Upper House, and given that many Opposition members have cited health reasons to stay away, the government, using its numerical strength, rejected the Opposition demand to refer the Bills — The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 — to a select committee for parliamentary scrutiny.
Already cleared by Lok Sabha, the Bills, passed by voice vote, will now go to the President for assent before becoming law. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a series of tweets after the passage of the Bills in Rajya Sabha, described it as “a watershed moment in the history of Indian agriculture” while BJP members called it “historic… a big reform”.