Centre would have been in trouble if Rajya Sabha voted on farm bills?

Many Rajya Sabha MPs claimed that several regional parties opposing the bill made the Centre nervous and that was the reason that deputy chairman Harivansh did not allow division.

Published: 20th September 2020 05:17 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th September 2020 05:17 PM   |  A+A-

Rajya Sabha

Ruckus erupts in the Rajya Sabha as Opposition rushes to Well of House over agriculture related bills, during the ongoing Monsoon Session, at Parliament House in New Delhi. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Had there been voting on the two farm bills passed by the Rajya Sabha amidst din by the Opposition, the Centre would have been in trouble with some of the regional parties, traditionally supporters of the Centre, having opposed the bill and seeking it be referred to select committee. 

The Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) with 7 MPs, AIADMK with 9 MPs and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) with 9 MPs criticized provisions in the bills and demanding that it be referred to select committee before passing. 

NDA ally Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) with three MPs has also opposed the bill. Put together, the Centre would have faced trouble if voting would have happened. 

However, the YSR Congress with 6 MPs supported the bill. 

ALSO READ | Two farm bills passed in Rajya Sabha despite protests by Oppostion MPs

Many Rajya Sabha MPs claimed that several regional parties opposing the bill made the Centre nervous and that was the reason that deputy chairman Harivansh did not allow division (voting)
on resolution moved by MPs from Congress, TMC, DMK and Left parties to send the bill to select committee. 

This was despite CPM MP KK Ragesh, DMK MP Tiruchi Siva and Congress MP KC Venugopal seeking voting on their resolutions. However, deputy chairman said that voting can only happen if members, who were in the well of the house, go to their seats.

The two bills -- The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill 2020, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 -were rushed through and passed in just 20 minutes by voice vote.  

During the discussion, Amar Patnaik from BJD said the bills ignore the implementable part and it will create cartilisation. 

"Remenurative prices will not be same and who will fix and it will lead to a market capture. Is the bill only for big corporate. I would urge sending it to select committee," said Patnaik.

Criticising the bills, K Keshava Rao of TRS said this is a direct brutal assault on state rights and constitution and violates very spirit of federalism. 

"If this is the new age (revolutionary), we are against it as you putting poor farmers against rich corporates. Agriculture is the only sector that sustained the Covid impact. If you think you have right to bring the bill so do we have the right to speak. Did you talk to us or did you consult the people," he said. 

Attacking the Centre, he said the government does not fund states and has not even give us GST dues and that it will turn farmers to landless labourers. 

Speaking on similar lines, Balasubramoniyam S R  from AIADMK said that the Centre has bulldozed agriculture reforms during Covid-19. 

"This is like disinvestment in Indian farming sector. Corporates enter the farming sector and farmers will be reduced to farm workers. The bill is silent on MSP and government should stipulate rules for it. 

If these bills are passed, states will not have any power to check profiteering, hoarding and black marketing. The state governments will be just mute spectators. 

Allay the fears before passing the bills and Centre should be more cautious and farmer should not get cheated. Establish a central agriculture regulatory authority like electricity regulatory authority to support the farmers ," he added.

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