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Farm bills 2020: Lok Sabha adjourned for an hour after opposition protest

When opposition members shouted slogans and came near the well, Speaker Om Birla adjourned the house for an hour, after about 15 minutes of business

twitter-logoPTI | September 22, 2020 | Updated 19:12 IST
Farm bills 2020: Lok Sabha adjourned for an hour after opposition protest

Lok Sabha had to be adjourned for an hour on Tuesday after a protest by opposition members who claimed that the government has done "too little" for the welfare of farmers.

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar's announcement on increasing the minimum support price of six rabi crops was "too little" for farmers who have been agitating mainly in Punjab and Haryana against two farm bills passed by Parliament.

DMK leader T R Baalu and TMC's Kalyan Banerjee supported Chowdhury.

When opposition members shouted slogans and came near the well, Speaker Om Birla adjourned the house for an hour, after about 15 minutes of business.

"The coronavirus pandemic is on, every member has to take precautions. I want all of you to be safe. I want all of you to go back to your constituency healthy so that you can serve the people. By keeping in mind your well being, I adjourn the house for an hour," Birla said.

Farmer groups in Punjab, Haryana and some other states are protesting against The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020.

On Monday, Tomar announced an increase in the MSP for six rabi crops for 2020-21 crop year (July-June) and 2021-22 marketing season.

The MSP for wheat, the biggest crop of rabi season, has been hiked by Rs 50 to Rs 1,975 per quintal, the MSP for gram has been increased by Rs 225 to Rs 5,100 per quintal, for barley by Rs 75 to Rs 1,600 per quintal, for lentil by Rs 300 to Rs 5,100 per quintal, for mustard/rapeseed by Rs 225 to Rs 4,650 per quintal and safflower by Rs 112 to Rs 5,327 per quintal.

Earlier, as soon as the house assembled, DMK member D M Kathir Anand alleged that two persons, who claimed to be from the IB, barged into his room at Old Tamil Nadu House here and sought to know from him about issues to be raised by the party in Parliament.

Anand claimed that the two persons also wanted to know what would be the party's strategy and about some local issues of Tamil Nadu.

"They tried to interrogate me," he claimed, amidst protests by DMK leader Baalu and others.

At this, the Lok Sabha speaker said the two persons could be frauds.

"Please don't level unsubstantiate allegations. Unless you have any proof, this is not correct. If you give me in writing, I will examine it and if necessary will order an inquiry," Birla said.

The speaker told Baalu and Anand that safety and security of every member is his responsibility. "You give me in writing, I will examine," he said.

Congress member Ravneet Singh Bittu claimed in the house that he and three other MPs from Punjab were "brutally assaulted" by Delhi police personnel outside Parliament on Monday evening when they were trying to take out a candle light march to Rashtrapati Bhavan against the two farm bills.

"If the MPs can face such brutality of the police, you can well imagine what can be the fate of the agitating farmers," he said.

Bittu claimed the prime minister was to pass from there when the police stopped them. He said he was aware that the security of the prime minister was very important but the police badly beat them despite knowing they were MPs.

"We urge you to do the needful and ensure that such an incident does not occur again," he said.

The Speaker told Bittu he has received a letter about the incident and sought a report. "I assure you that security of every member is my responsibility, be it inside or outside Parliament. I have sought a report on the incident. Once it comes, I will examine and do the needful," Birla said.

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