Opposition requests President Kovind not to give assent to contentious farm bills

The government should have consulted all parties, farmer leaders before bringing the farm bills, Azad said after meeting the President.

Published: 23rd September 2020 06:59 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th September 2020 08:40 AM   |  A+A-

President Ram Nath Kovind meets Congress MP Ghulam Nabi Azad at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi Wednesday Sept. 23 2020. (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  A day after non-NDA parties boycotted Parliament proceedings, the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, met President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday on behalf of all these parties and urged him to return the “unconstitutional” farm Bills saying they needed proper discussion.

Eighteen political parties had earlier written to Kovind expressing concern over the manner in which the Bills were passed in the Upper House on Sunday.  Azad met the president while the MPs of other opposition parties waited at Vijay Chowk. In view of Covid-19 norms, only Azad was granted a meeting.
The floor leaders of the opposition parties in the Rajya Sabha also met to discuss future course of action on farm Bills and to take their protest among people.

The Congress has announced to hold countrywide protests against the farm Bills and a signature drive to oppose it. Other regional parties are expected to hold protests in their respective states and have announced support to nationwide farmers’ protests on September 25. After the meeting, Azad said he informed the President how constitutional rules, regulations and procedures were violated in Parliament, the “temple of democracy”. He told Kovind that being the keeper of the Constitution, he should return the Bills to the government. 

“We urged the President not to sign the Bills as these are unconstitutional. He should return them so that fresh discussions can take place and proper procedures can be followed and opposition amendments are taken and a division allowed on resolutions and motions. He should grant his assent when the Bills come through proper route,” Azad said.

The 18 parties wrote to the President that the consensus was in the opposition’s favour. Azad also blamed the government for the ruckus in the Upper House. “The government is responsible for uproar in the House and what later happened. There was no consensus in the House to discuss the Bill after 1 pm on Sunday but the deputy chairman pushed to get the Bills passed,” he added.

Mayawati slams govt, oppn  over RS ruckus on agri Bills
BSP supremon Mayawati on Wednesday expressed displeasure over the ruckus that broke out in the Rajya Sabha on September 20 over the passage of the farm Bills and hit out at the conduct of the government as well as the Opposition . “Although Parliament is called the temple of democracy, its dignity has been shredded many times. Even during the ongoing Parliament session, the functioning of the government and the behaviour of Opposition in the House are embarrassing for the dignity of Parliament, Constitution and democracy. Very sad!” she tweeted.

Navjot Singh Sidhu holds protest march in Amritsar
Terming the three agriculture Bills as ‘black laws’, former Punjab cabinet minister and Congress MLA Navjot Singh Sidhu, emerging from a year-long political hiatus on Wednesday, said he believed in the “politics of solution”. He held a protest march in Amritsar against the farm Bills, with his supporters raising slogans. Addressing a gathering from atop a tractor, Sidhu said, “Farmer is our honour, pride and respect and the government has violated our honour by bringing these Bills. I have come out for the farmers and for a united cause of Punjab for which I will fight till my last breath.”

BKU delegation meets Yogi, vows to join farmers’ stir
Amid continuing protests by the farmers over the agri Bills, a delegation of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), led by Rakesh Singh Tikait, met UP CM Yogi Adityanath to discuss the situation. However, emerging from the meeting, Tikait reiterated the resolve to join the nationwide stir against the three Bills on September 25. He said that the farmers would continue to protest till the clauses on  support price and purchase guarantee were not added to the “controversial Bills”. It may be noted that the voices of famers in Uttar PradeshP, especially western UP, are relatively silent.


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