The demonstrations of farmers will be debated in parliament for 15 hours, decided today by the government in a breakthrough in its talks with the opposition. The debate will actually occur in the Rajya Sabha, where for two days the Question Hour has been canceled.
But the truce was short-lived as the upper house erupted in protests shortly after Chairman Venkaiah Naidu declared that after the debate on the motion of thanks to the President’s address to the joint sitting last Friday, the conversation would take place.
Three Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) members kept screaming slogans until they had been asked to exit the house for the day. The disturbances forced the day’s first adjournment.
More About Farmers Protest:
More than 16 opposition parties called for a five-hour stand-alone debate on the protests by farmers, which the government decided to raise to 15.
After agreeing to the opposition’s demand, Pralhad Joshi, the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, made the announcement.
“Since the government has accepted this proposal we are ready for a discussion,” said Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad of the Congress.
He also said: “If the discussion on farmers doesn’t happen before the Motion of Thanks, we request that the time be extended.”
There’ll be no Question Hour for two days and the bills of private members would not be taken on Friday to facilitate the debate on farmers who have been rallying on highways outside Delhi since November against three central laws that they claim will dramatically reduce their income by eliminating guaranteed minimum prices for their crops and leaving them open to large corporation exploitation.
The government has declined to take down the laws that it claims are preparing long-term agricultural reforms but has attempted to make improvements.
There are presently widespread protests against the three reforms: the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, the Price Assurance and Farm Services Agreement for Farmers (Empowerment and Protection), and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act.
Even as the Modi government scurries to find an amicable solution, farmers have laid siege to Delhi.
On September 27, the President gave his approval to the three divisive agriculture bills previously passed by Parliament. The opposition, as well as Shiromani Akali Dal, a long-time BJP ally, called these reforms “anti-farmer”.