Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh speaks during the Monsoon Session of Parliament
Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh speaks during the Monsoon Session of Parliament
ANI

Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad on Sunday said that 12 political parties have given a vote of no confidence against Deputy Chairman Harivansh stating that he did not heed the Opposition's demand for postponing the discussion on two agriculture bills for tomorrow.

Amid the ruckus, Rajya Sabha passed two agriculture bills: The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020.

"Twelve political parties have given the vote of no confidence against Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha. The reason being while the bill which we all think is anti-farmer was being discussed and passed. Before it could be passed at 1 pm, the entire 12 political parties requested the Deputy Chairman that it can be discussed and voted for tomorrow," Azad said.

"In spite of quoting the previous precedence of the Rajya Sabha, we all unanimously said that the time of the Rajya Sabha is over and it can be discussed tomorrow. But unfortunately, we were not heard and the passage of bills was started by the Deputy Chairman," he said.

"Our MPs and leaders of 12 political parties wanted to draw the attention of the Deputy Chairman by quoting the rules, precedence and procedures. But none of them were allowed. There was a din. Normally in Rajya Sabha, we never pass any bill in din. Almost all security persons of Rajya Sabha was called inside. In that din, the bills were passed. It is the most undemocratic," the Rajya Sabha MP said.

Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Derek O'Brien said that Opposition MPs broke some microphones in Rajya Sabha but BJP broke the back of Indian democracy.

"Today is a historic day. Opposition MPs broke some microphones in Rajya Sabha but BJP broke the back of Indian democracy. Did Opposition MPs to get a chance to vote on farm bills? No. Did they get a chance to press the division button? No. If you want to cheat us then we will give it back to you twice as much," he said.

"This is no 'lallu pallu' (weak) Opposition party sitting here. Don't criticise the Opposition's behaviour. The problem is this is not the Gujarat gymkhana. This is the Parliament of India. You have to follow certain rules. If one member says division then it means I want a vote. Today there were so many MPs asking for the division. We will fight till our last drop of blood to protect Parliament and democracy," the TMC MP said.

According to a letter to Secretary-General, Rajya Sabha, signed by Opposition members, the Deputy Chairperson attempted to have the Bills passed in "haste and without application of mind, circumvented all demands for proper voting by Division" and violated all Covid-19 norms by not providing sufficient time for sanitising and preparation of the Lok Sabha chamber for the afternoon session of Lok Sabha.

"When the agitated members, on being denied the Right for a Division on this crucial bill protested strongly pointing out how gravely the Bill is against the farmers' interest, the Deputy Chairperson packed the House with security personnel deliberately designed to overawe and outnumber the Members of the Opposition. It is strange and astonishing that the Deputy Chairperson treated the sitting of Rajya Sabha today as the last day of the Session," read the letter.

(To download our E-paper please click here. The publishers permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal

www.freepressjournal.in