Parliament highlights: LS adjourned after Opposition uproar, RS debates agrarian crisis | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Parliament highlights: LS adjourned after Opposition uproar, RS debates agrarian crisis

The Lok Sabha failed to transact any business while the Rajya Sabha debated the agrarian crisis.

india Updated: Jul 25, 2017 19:26 IST
HT Correspondent and Agencies
A view of the Lok Sabha during the ongoing monsoon session of Parliament in New Delhi on Tuesday.
A view of the Lok Sabha during the ongoing monsoon session of Parliament in New Delhi on Tuesday. (PTI)

The Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day on Tuesday, without transacting virtually any substantial business, after Congress members created an uproar over a range of issues, including remarks made by certain BJP MPs against its leader Jyotiraditya Scindia and the revocation of suspension of six of its members.

Congress and Opposition parties also demanded a discussion on the lynching incidents in the country in the name of cow protection.

Bills meant for consideration and passing in Lok Sabha today
  • The Indian Institutes of Information
  • Technology (Amendment) Bill, 2017.
  • The Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2016.
  • The National Bank for Agriculture and
  • Rural Development (Amendment) Bill, 2017.
  • The Indian Institutes of Management Bill, 2017.

Meanwhile, in the Rajya Sabha, members debated the agrarian crisis and discussed the reasons behind the rising numbers of farmer suicides across the country.

Several members spoke about the issue with the house going over time to accommodate late requests. The Agriculture Minister is scheduled to respond on the issue at 3 pm on Wednesday.

Here are the live updates:

7:08 pm: The House is adjourned till 11 am on Wednesday.

7:00 pm: Special Mentions

An MP asks for the Common Law Admission Test to be conducted by a professional body to avoid exam paper leak and errors.

DMK’s Tiruchi Silva urges the government to reconsider allowing foreign investment in defence.

TMC’s Derek O’Brien brings up the importance of data security and protecting privacy of Aadhaar card details of 100 crore Indians. Data of 13 crore Indians was leaked recently.

JD(U)’s Kahkashan Parween asks for preservation of regional languages in Akashvani.

AIADMK’s T Rathinavel says government must not privatise small arms ordnance factories and must protect interests of national security.

6:55 pm: SP’s Vishambhar Prasad Nishad brings the plight of farmers in Bundelkhand and asks special attention be paid to them as well.

6:45 pm

6:42 pm: BJP’s La Ganesan says 60% of suicides are related to farming and bankruptcy. He says the government and the PM have taken steps, which include Kisan credit cards and reduction in interest rates.

Despite UPA govt’s loan waiver, 30 million farmers committed suicide, Ganesan says. A member question the source of his information. Ganesan says the statistics he referred to were from the Parliament’s office.

He says increasing the income of farmers is the only solution. Ganesan says that the government is taking steps and working towards this, and promises that farmers’ incomes will double by 2022.

He ends with the appeal, “Do not indulge in suicide activity. We are here to save you.”

6:39 pm: Dr. Satyanarayan Jatiya takes over as Chair.

Chhaya Varma of Congress speaks. She talks about the promises made to farmers in Chattisgarh by the BJP and how their suicides are attributed to frivolous reasons that are untrue.

6:37 pm: Chair allows three more members to speak for three minutes each.

6: 35 pm: Bhunder says,“The ground is ripe for revolution. I’m not blaming anyone. But save the farmers, without them no one can get ahead.”

6:27 pm: Balwinder Singh Bhunder of SAD says, “It is a question of survival for farmers now. Look at Punjab . The government has been in power for 120 says, there have been 150 suicides.”

Bhunder says that cold storage and supply chain technology should have been implemented 30 years ago. Citing that the farmers are producers and consumers, he requests the government to remove GST on farmers.

6:25 pm: Bhaskar concludes saying, “Please think about having a separate agricultural budget so we can envision policies for farmers and plan to double their income. Let us not hope for miracles but address the problem realistically.”

6:20 pm: “The photoshopped image of PM Modi surveying Chennai floods was lambasted across the world, including the international media,” Bhaskar says.

As he is asked to conclude, the MP says, “This is important. I need to raise a few points. Last time, after the debate we did not even get a reply from the Agriculture Minister.”

6:16 pm: Rapolu Ananda Bhaskar of Congress criticises the Prime Minister for not meeting with farmers even as he addressed those affected by floods in Sri Lanka and Pakistan and extended support to them.

6:10 pm: The debate resumes. Ram Kumar Kashyap of INLD says, “The current generation not interested in agriculture, the field is not lucrative. They don’t even know how much land they have. The government will need to look into this.”

6:05 pm: Kurien says that the time for short duration discussion is 2.5 hours but the debate on the farmers crisis has already gone onto 4 hours. He decides the remaining three members will speak today. The Agriculture Minister will get time to respond at 3 pm tomorrow.

From 2-3pm, the Statistics Amendment Bill will be taken up.

6:02 pm: PJ Kurien resumes as Chair. Derek O’Brien asks that the discussion resume tomorrow with enough time for the Agriculture Minister’s response. The House discusses whether or not to continue the debate today.

5:55 pm: BJP’s Ram Narain Dudi says, “Who has weakened the farmer? It is Congress and Congress alone.”

5:50 pm: Sanjay Sinh of Congress talks about the impact of demonetisation. He addresses the criticisms against his party and then says, “You may say all this but exports rose by 7 times during our government, India became the number one exporter of rice and the number two exported of cotton.”

5:42 pm: Raja speaks in support of interlinking rivers. He refers to situation of farmers in Tamil Nadu and is accused of speaking only of his state.

Raja urges the Centre to take immediate measures to address farmers crisis.

5:40 pm

5:38 pm: Raja asks, “Why can’t we follow the recommendations of the MS Swaminathan Commission, the methodology given for setting Minimum Support Price?”

5:35 pm: CPI’s D Raja says, “Even one farmer’s suicide should sadden us and be unacceptable to each of us. What are the key issues? We must have short-term and long-term approach.”

Raja says that the government must look at loan waiver and interest waiver. “States have done this. Why can’t the Centre too? We must set up a Debt Relief Commission,” he says.

5:30 pm: Raut addresses Rajani Patil and says that the decline of farmers cooperatives in Maharashtra is not a situation that has come up in the last three years.

5:26 pm

5:25 pm: Sanjay Raut of Shiv Sena train guns on the Congress. “In 10 years of your rule, 30,000 farmers committed suicide in Vidarbha alone, 8,000 committed suicide in Marathwada. It was a concern then, it is a concern now.”

5:20 pm: Rupala says, “We have completed 22 agricultural schemes so far. We are making district-based irrigation plans based on potential.”

5:10 pm: Digvijaya Singh criticises the tone in which Rupala is replying to questions posed to him.

Singh asks why Rupala as MoS is speaking when the cabinet minister is due to reply. The Chair responds that he is entitled to speak as a member of the House.

5:05 pm: Puroshottam Rupala, MoS Agriculture and Family Welfare, responds: “Has the farmers’ crisis only worsened since 2014? You have given numbers for farmers suicides from 2014. What about those before? How many committed suicide despite the debts being forgiven?”

Rupala engages in a loud argument with Rajani Patil. “Loud voices cannot hide the truth,” he retaliates, but minutes later says he was appreciating the volume at which she spoke.

5:00 pm: Patil says, “Our UPA government forgave a large amount of loans. Our then Prime Minister visited Marathwada and Vidarbha twice. Prime Minister Modi has not visited them even once.”

4:55 pm: Rajani Patil of Congress says, “I am proud to say I’m from a family of farmers. I must reiterate that we are farmers and we are also human.”

4:45 pm: DMK’s RS Bharathi refers to protests held by Tamil Nadu farmers at Jantar Mantar and asks, “Why is the honourable Prime Minister reluctant to meet the protesting farmers?”

“Let us call a special session and enact a legislation that will address the challenges of the farmers,” he suggests.

4:37 pm: Vijaysai Reddy of YSR Congress says a model where difference in prime lending rate was subsided must be introduced in all states.

He also says that Karnataka is the best example of how e-National Agricultural Market has been used in connecting different mandis.

4:26 pm: NCP’s Praful Patel exhorts the agriculture minister to use science and technology to improve agriculture sector and invest in indigenous seeds.

Patel refers to the protests by farmers in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra and says, “When farmers take to the streets, we must take a comprehensive look at why they are doing so.”

4:25 pm: Tiruchi Siva takes over as Chair.

4:22 pm: “Farmers’ issues can be suppressed with bullets and lathis but they cannot be solved with them,” says Ali.

4:19 pm: Munquad Ali of the BSP speaks. He says, “Every day 10,000 farmers leave agriculture and every year, 12,000 farmers commit suicide.”

4:13 pm: Acharya says farmers are not demanding swimming pools and food malls. They want timely loan, insurance and prices for their produce. “In the mandis of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh farmers are getting prices much below MSP,” he says.

He also brings up the vicious cycle of debt for farmers and the issue of GM crops.

“Price, Prestige and Pension is all that the farmer wants,” he says.

4:07 pm: Prasanna Acharya of BJD speaks. He says the farmers are agitating because they have been betrayed by this government. “Nature has not betrayed them. This government has cheated them,” he says.

4:02 pm: Ragesh slams the government’s import policy as a result of which, he claims, prices have gone down and contributed to the farmers’ crisis.

4:00 pm

3:57 pm: Ragesh questions the government’s priority — is it private players like the Adanis or the poor farmer?

3:53 pm: KK Ragesh of CPI(M) joins the discussion and asks the BJP to look at its manifesto and the promises made. “If 20% of the promises were kept, we could have avoided the present devastating situation,” he says.

Ragesh criticises mocks the ‘Acche Din’ slogan and the government’s response to farmers’ concerns.

3:38 pm: TMC MP Derek O’ Brian speaks on the issue of farmers’ crisis.

3:26 pm: Lok Sabha adjourned for the day amid sloganeering by Opposition members over revocation of suspension of Congress MPs.

3:22 pm: Trinamool MP Saugata Roy requests the suspension of the Congress lawmakers be revoked.

3:17 pm: Mallikarjun Kharge requests the Speaker to revoke the suspension of the six Congress MPs.

3:13 pm: Speaker Sumitra Mahajan says if you have to create ruckus then don’t run the session.

3:10pm: Ruckus in Lok Sabha after Scindia’s statement, Congress members storm to the well.

3:06 pm: Jyotiraditya Scindia challenges that he will tender resignation over BJP’s allegations that a hospital inaugurated by a BJP Dalit MLA was cleaned before Scindia visited the facility in Madhya Pradesh.

3:00 pm: Lok Sabha session resumes.

2:55 pm: SP lawmaker Ram Gopal Yadav speaks on farmers’ issue. He says India lags behind in food processing sector due to which loads of perishable food items are thrown away every year.

India is second after US in having farm land areas yet farmers in our country are poor and committing suicide. Farmers will not be benefited by loan waiver. Everything can wait but not agriculture: Yadav.

2:49 pm: India is the largest producer of milk, fruits. It is also the second largest producer of rice. It is due to the reforms initiated by the government: Prabhat Jha.

2:33 pm: BJP MP Prabhat Jha says there has been record crop production in the last three years, and this year there has been bumper harvest.

2:28 pm: Famers’ suicide is driven by loan debts. Over exploitation of ground water is also responsible for farmers’ distress. Crops are wasted in storage, hence cold chain storage is requirement for perishable fruits and vegetables. Organic farming should be promoted: Singh

2:26 pm: Minimum price insurance should be emphasized over crop insurance: Singh

2:20 pm: Famers’ condition were aggravated as demonetisation happened when Kharif crop were about to come to the markets. Ban on sale of cattle has also added to the farmer’s woes: Dijvijaya Singh

No grievance addressal mechanism under crop insurance policy introduced by govt: Singh

2:10 pm: Congress MP Dijvijaya Singh speaks on the issue of farmers’ problems and agrarian crisis.

2:10 pm: Rajya Sabha session resumes

11:31 am: Rajya Sabha adjourned till 2 pm.

Rajya Sabha
  • Short duration discussion on farmers’ distress leading to rise in the incidents of their suicide in the country.
  • Bills for consideration and passing:
  • The Collection of Statistics (Amendment) Bill, 2017.
  • The National Institutes of Technology,
  • Science Education and Research (Amendment) Bill, 2017.
  • The Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill, 2017.
  • The National Commission for Backward Classes (Repeal) Bill, 2017.

11:26 am: CPI MP D Raja says the teachers’ community is worried about dismantling of institution like UGC and privatisation of state-funded education system.

“Not dismantling anything, regulating the system,” clarifies Prakash Javadekar.

11:18 am: HRD minister Prakesh Javadekar clarifies that the suggestions sought were only for factual errors in NCERT books.

TMC MP Derek O’ Brien says there was a suggestion to remove Ravindra Nath Tagore from schoolbooks.

11:16 am: Defence minister Arun Jaitley replies that the reference was to a particular point of time. He says the country is reasonably and sufficiently equipped.

11:13 am: During zero hour in Rajya Sabha, Ram Gopal Yadav says CAG reports stated that India has ammunitions that will last only for 10 days.

11:10 am:

11:03 am: Speaker Sumitra Mahajan adjourns Lok Sabha till 3 pm in view of the swearing-in ceremony of Ram Nath Kovind as the president of India.

11 am: Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha sessions begin.