Opposition does not want to raise farmers’ issues: Speaker Om Birla
On Tuesday, Lok Sabha began with the Opposition’s protests as they flashed placards in the House demanding a discussion on the Pegasus issue . However, amid the din, Question Hour, which involved questions mostly about farmer welfare, continued without the Opposition’s participation. Speaker Om Birla alleged the Opposition was not interested in the issues of farmers.
Addressing the protesting Opposition members who huddled in front of the chair with placards, Birla said, “Today, I took up more than seven issues about farmers in the Parliament. I wanted you to question the (agriculture) minister about their issues in the Question Hour so that their problems would be resolved. But you don’t want to debate or question (the government) about their issues.”
He added that the Opposition also had a responsibility to respect the House and maintain decorum. “You have been chosen by the people of this country so that you can voice their issues here (in Parliament) … so that you speak about the issues of farmers. But you (Opposition) are just sloganeering… This is not right,” he said. Following this, the Speaker adjourned the House.
Members of the Opposition have been protesting in both Houses of Parliament since day one of the Monsoon Session which began on July 19, over the government’s management of the Covid-19 pandemic, Pegasus spyware snooping allegations, and three controversial farm laws. In the meantime, several key bills have been passed by Parliament without discussion in either of the Houses.
Thousands of farmers have also been protesting on the borders of the national Capital against these laws since late November last year. They have been demanding the laws be repealed as they are aimed at privatising agriculture. The Opposition has seconded their demand.
On July 26, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi drove a tractor to the Parliament. The vehicle was mounted with a banner demanding that the three “anti-farmer black laws” be repealed.
On Tuesday, Shiromani Akali Dal MP Harsimrat Badal distributed wheat stalks to her colleagues as part of a protest at Parliament over the Centre’s farm laws