'I will not eat anything today': Sharad Pawar to fast for a day to show support for 8 suspended Rajya Sabha MPs
Photo Credit: Sharad Pawar/Twitter

NCP supremo and former union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar on Tuesday said he will fast for a day to protest against the suspension of MPs and the manner in which Farm Bills were passed in Rajya Sabha. He said that in 50 years of parliamentary career he never seen such kind of behaviour of Dy chairman of Rajya Sabha.

"I will also take part in their (eight suspended Rajya Sabha MPs’) movement. I will fast for a day to show support," Sharad Pawar told reporters.

While slamming Deputy chairman of Rajya Sabha, Sharad Pawar said: “Deputy chairman of Rajya Sabha should have listened to the protesting MPs who were showing him the rulebook. But he did not and rushed with voice vote. That's why there was outrage."

"I have been in Parliamentary politics for over 50 years, but never seen such behaviour from the chair. It is obvious that there was strong reaction, resulting in MPs protesting near Mahatma Gandhi’s statue," he added.

Pawar also slammed the Modi-led government on Farm Bills. Sharad Pawar said, "It was expected that there would have been discussion before the Farm Bills were passed. But it looks like the Centre was quite keen to get those bills passed." He also questioned the Centre on ban of export on onions. "If this government talks about no restrictions on farm products then how can it ban export of onions?" Pawar asked.

Sharad Pawar said that the Income Tax department has issued him and his daughter, Supriya Sule, notice seeking details about about their election affidavit. "I received notice from the Income Tax department about my poll affidavit. On the directions of Election Commission the Income Tax has sent notice on poll affidavits for 2009, 2014 and 2020. The IT Department has also asked Supriya Sule to give details of her last 3 poll affidavits. It looks like Income Tax has love and affection for some."

NCP supremo also spoke on Maratha reservation and said the Maharashtra government is clear that the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Act, 2018 and reservations provided therein for Maratha community be restored.

The Rajya Sabha witnessed unruly scenes as Opposition members stormed the well of the House and reached the Deputy Chairman's seat to protest against the Farmer's Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020.

Later, eight MPs were suspended by the Rajya Sabha Chairman on Monday over the ruckus created in the Upper House. Both the Bills were earlier passed by Lok Sabha through voice vote. Opposition leaders staged a walk-out from the Rajya Sabha and held a protest near the Gandhi statue in Parliament premises on Tuesday. Parliamentarians from Congress, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Shiv Sena, Trinamool Congress (TMC), Communist Party of India (Marxist) boycotted the house demanding revocation of suspension of the eight MPs.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal