Mic broken, papers thrown: Unprecedented scenes in Rajya Sabha as it passes two agriculture Bills amid protests by opposition

New Delhi: The Rajya Sabha witnessed unprecedented scenes on Sunday during the debate on agriculture bills as opposition members trooped into the well of the House in protest during a reply by Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and an attempt was made to snatch the mike at the Chairman's podium.

The rule book was also shown to Deputy Chairman Harivansh from the well of the House by an opposition member. The protest erupted after the Deputy Chairman sought a sense of the House and said that the sitting of the House is being extended beyond 1 pm till the completion of the Minister's reply.

Opposition members protested over the decision. Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said that the opposition members want that the House should be adjourned for the day and the minister may resume his reply tomorrow. He said that sense of the House means the opinion of all parties and not of the ruling party only.

Opposition parties continued their protest and the Deputy Chairman ruled that only minister's reply will go on record. The Minister, whose voice could hardly be heard amid the din, concluded his reply within a few minutes.

As the Deputy Chairman took the Bills for the passage, the protest by opposition members became louder and they started raising slogans against the government and against the bills.

Derek O'Brien of Trinamool Congress came near the podium and tried to show the rule book to the Deputy Chairman. An attempt was also made to snatch the mike and the marshals tried to prevent it.

Amid the ruckus, the Deputy Chairman who was taking up clause by clause passage of the Bill, decided not to proceed ahead. The audio of Rajya Sabha TV was apparently switched off.

The protest continued with opposition members also coming in the well towards the treasury benches. Several opposition members could be seen having heated argument with the BJP members.

Amid the din, the House was briefly adjourned. When the House met again at 1.41 pm, Deputy Chairman took up the Bills for passage amid opposition protest.

The House took up 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 for passage. Opposition members had pressed for the Bills to be sent to select committee. The Bills were later passed amid protest by opposition members. The Bills have earlier been passed by the Lok Sabha.

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Free Press Journal