The Narendra Modi government is “making farmers shed tears of blood”, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi tweeted Sunday after two of three controversial bills related to the agriculture sector – which have sparked furious protests from farmers – were cleared by the Rajya Sabha amid unprecedented chaos and uproar.
In a tweet as dramatic as events in the Upper House today, Mr Gandhi also said the government had issued “death warrants” against farmers by passing these bills.
“The farmers grow gold from the land, but the arrogance of the Modi government is making them shed tears of blood,” Rahul Gandhi, who has accompanied his mother – party chief Sonia Gandhi – abroad while she undergoes routine medical tests, said.
“Democracy has been shamed by the manner in which the government passed death warrants against farmers in the form of two farm bills in Rajya Sabha,” he added.
जो किसान धरती से सोना उगाता है,
मोदी सरकार का घमंड उसे ख़ून के आँसू रुलाता है।
राज्यसभा में आज जिस तरह कृषि विधेयक के रूप में सरकार ने किसानों के ख़िलाफ़ मौत का फ़रमान निकाला, उससे लोकतंत्र शर्मिंदा है।
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) September 20, 2020
Earlier today, in a tweet posted before the ruckus in the Rajya Sabha, Mr Gandhi called the bills “anti-agriculture black laws” and questioned the government over its claims of continuing with a Minimum Support Price (MSP) for farmers’ produce.
“Why was MSP not guaranteed?” Mr Gandhi asked, repeating a question raised yesterday by party colleague P Chidambaram, who said there was no clause linking MSP to the lowest price.
Chaos and confrontation marked the passage of the bills through the Rajya Sabha today, with opposition MPs rushing the Well of the House in protest.
Trinamool MP Derek O’Brien, who was seen waving a copy of the rule book in the Deputy Chairperson’s face, called it “murder of democracy“.
Others, including former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, demanded to know why the bills were being rushed through without consulting farmers or a review committee. Congress MP Partap Singh Bajwa also called the bills “death warrants” and said: “Farmers are not illiterate. They understand that this is a way to do away with MSP…”
Meanwhile, while there was turmoil in parliament, Haryana farmers had gathered in large numbers to protest the bills, forcing cops to resort to force to disperse them.
The government has said the bills will empower farmers to get competitive prices for their produce. Tweeting after the bills were passed Prime Minister Narendra Modi insisting that the MSP would continue.
“I said it earlier and I say it once again: System of MSP will remain. Government procurement will continue,” the Prime Minister said.
The farmers, however, have not been reassured by verbal guarantees – a point made by Akali Dal leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal, who resigned as Union Minister in protest.
The two bills that have been passed today need only President Ram Nath Kovind’s assent to become law, something Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal, whose party broke ranks from the BJP camp to oppose the bills, appealed against.