The government has agreed to discuss the farmers’ protest for 15 hours in the parliament on Wednesday with the opposition. The discussion will take place in the Rajya Sabha where the Question Hour has been suspended for two days after the Opposition party leaders staged a walkout over farm laws.
The upper house, following Covid-19 protocols, met for five hours but soon erupted in protests when Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said that the discussion will take place after the debate on the motion of thanks to the President’s address to the joint sitting last Friday.
Members of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) kept shouting slogans until they were ordered to leave the House for the day. The disruptions forced the first adjournment of the day.
Over 16 opposition parties had demanded five-hour long discussion on the farmers’ protest that the government extended to 15 hours. The announcement was made by Pralhad Joshi, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, after agreeing to opposition’s demand.
Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad of Congress party said, “Since the government has accepted this proposal we are ready for a discussion.”
“If the discussion on farmers doesn’t happen before the Motion of Thanks, we request that the time be extended,” he further added.
The question hour has been suspended for two days and private members’ bills will not be taken on Friday to hold the discussions on farmers who have been protesting at Delhi borders since November 26 against the three contentious farm laws.
On Tuesday, both the Upper House and Lower House of Parliament saw dramatic scenes as Opposition parties including the Congress, Left, TMC and DMK staged walkouts.
Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh are demanding that the three farm laws be repealed and legislation for the minimum support system for their crops is presented. The farmers feel that the three laws would leave them vulnerable to the big corporate houses and do away with the wholesale market system.
The government and farmer unions have been holding talks to end this deadlock but the talks have failed to end this protest. The government has refused to take back the laws but has offered to make amendments to them.