BHUBANESWAR: The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has issued a whip to its Rajya Sabha members directing them to remain present in the House on Sunday during the debate over the contentious farm bills.
Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Sunday introduced in Rajya Sabha the Farmer's Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020.
The bills are facing staunch opposition from farmer bodies as well as from within the ruling coalition.
Harsimrat Kaur Badal, the food processing minister from the Shiromani Akali Dal party, resigned from the government last week.
Chief Whip of BJD in Rajya Sabha, Sasmit Patra said, a three-line whip has been issued to all the Biju Janata Dal Members asking them to be positively present in the House throughout the day.
The BJD members have been informed that their presence is required in Rajya Sabha as some important legislative business will be taken up in the House during the day, he said.
The BJD has nine members in the upper house.
While the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance is yet to have a clear majority of its own in the 245-member Rajya Sabha, many regional parties have backed it for the last several sessions to ensure passage of various legislations proposed by the government.
BJP leaders expressed confidence that they will get the support of over 130 members, including nine of the AIADMK and six of the YSR Congress -- both of whom are not part of the ruling alliance if a division of votes is sought on these bills.
Lok Sabha has already cleared the bills despite stiff opposition from SAD.