The protests over the farm bills took a new turn on Tuesday as the Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad declared that the opposition will boycott the proceedings of the Rajya Sabha till three key demands, including revoking of the suspension of eight members, are met.
Speaking after the Zero Hour, Congress leader, who is also the leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha, put out three demands in the House.
He further demanded that the government should bring a bill to ensure private players don’t procure food grains below the MSP fixed by the government.
The opposition’s third demand was for the MSP to be based on the recommendations of the MS Swaminathan committee report.
“In 2016, Arun Jaitley had said that any government will become illegitimate if the speaker refuses to hold voting. In today’s newspapers, there are ads of ‘one nation, one market’. For God’s sake, do not move towards of ‘one nation, one market’,” he said in the House.
On this demand, Chairman Venkaiah Naidu responded, “Arun Jaitley is no more. He had also spoke about the ‘tyranny of the minority’.”
“I am a senior Member of Parliament, I have apologised for what happened in the house, but I didn’t get any response. I found this very insulting. My party has decided to boycott the entire session,” said Samajwadi Party Rajya Sabha member Ram Gopal Yadav.
Yesterday, the eight suspended Rajya Sabha MPs had staged a sit-in protest near the Gandhi statue.
The suspended MPs, despite several requests, refused to leave the premises resulting in halting the further proceedings inside the House.
Chairman Venkaiah Naidu had announced the suspension of eight opposition MPs for a week namely Derek O Brien, Sanjay Singh, Raju Satav, KK Ragesh, Ripun Bora, Dola Sen, Syed Nazir Hussain and Elamaran Karim.
Soon, they protested on the lawns of the Parliament Complex. They were seen holding up placards that read – “We will fight for farmers” and “parliament assassinated”.
They did not move from the place even at night. The MPs continued their protest over-night with pillows, blankets, two fans and mosquito repellants.
In the morning, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh went to them with tea and served it in cups to the protesting MPs, but they rebuffed his “tea diplomacy”, calling him “anti-farmer”.
Right after the suspension motion, the MPs staged a sit-in in the Parliament premises near the Gandhi statue.
Taking it to Twitter, PM praised the act of Deputy Chairman of serving tea to the opposition MPs were staged a sit-in.
“To personally serve tea to those who attacked and insulted him a few days ago as well as those sitting on Dharna shows that Shri Harivansh Ji has been blessed with a humble mind and a big heart. It shows his greatness. I join the people of India in congratulating Harivansh Ji,” he said.
“For centuries, the great land of Bihar has been teaching us the values of democracy. In line with that wonderful ethos, MP from Bihar and Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson Shri Harivansh Ji’s inspiring and statesman like conduct this morning will make every democracy lover proud,” he said in another tweet.