New Delhi, Sep 20 (PTI) BJP president J P Nadda and other senior party leaders on Sunday hailed Parliament's nod to two farm sector reform bills, which, they said, will give farmers freedom in selling their produce and rid them of middlemen, and slammed opposition parties over ruckus in the Rajya Sabha.
Nadda said the conduct of opposition members was an attack on democracy and accused them of dispensing with the decency expected of a parliamentarian in their attempt to stop the passage of the bills. He termed their behaviour 'highly irresponsible'.
Opposition members also violated COVID-19 protocols by storming the Well of the House, he told reporters.
Amid massive uproar by opposition members, the Rajya Sabha on Sunday passed 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. They were passed by the Lok Sabha on Thursday.
Slogan-shouting opposition members, including those from the TMC, Congress and Left with several of them in the Well, created a ruckus after Deputy Chairman Harivansh did not consider their demand for a division of votes on a resolution to send the two bills to a select committee, noting that a division can happen only when members are in their seats.
TMC leader Derek O'Brien charged towards the podium, thrusting the rule book into the face of the deputy chairman.
Union minister and BJP leader Prakash Javadekar said opposition parties have 'disgraced' the Rajya Sabha by their unruly behaviour. 'We condemn this undemocratic action,' he said.
Nadda, who is also a Rajya Sabha member, said opposition members' behaviour was 'condemnable' and hoped that the House chairman will take note of that.
Lauding the bills, he asserted that the minimum support price (MSP) and Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMC) will continue even as farmers will get more and better options under these bills, which will become laws after being notified.
'Showing foresight, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken these steps for a better future for farmers. They will play an important role in doubling their income,' he said.
The Modi government has taken a number of steps for farmers' welfare, including implementing the Swaminathan Commission report and announcing over Rs 1 lakh package for the agriculture sector, he said.
Attacking the Congress, the BJP president said the opposition party had promised abolishing APMC in its 2019 general election manifesto while this will continue under the Modi government.
The Congress and its leader Rahul Gandhi do not want to see farmers empowered, he said.
The Congress did nothing to undertake any reform to empower farmers and this is an old habit of the party to do politics by misleading the poor and farmers, Nadda alleged.
'Farmers are aware of the double-face of the Congress and will not be misled by it,' he said.
Opposition parties have called these bills 'anti-farmers' amid protests by farmers in states like Punjab and Haryana. PTI KR DPB