New Delhi, Feb 3 (PTI) DMK MP Tiruchi Siva on Wednesday sought assurance from the government and the prime minister on the repeal of the three contentious farm laws against which several farmer unions have been protesting on various borders of Delhi.
He also expressed concern over the manner in which the farm bills were passed last year, but Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said that everything was done according to rule.
'As per the demand of our party president M K Stalin, I would urge the government, the prime minister in his reply would assure repealing of these farm laws,' Siva said in Rajya Sabha.
The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), which has seven members in the Upper House of Parliament, had opposed the three farm bills.
'We have been pleading with you sir asking for more time to discuss about the farmer's agitation which is going on. We are happy the way you conduct the House and uphold merits of this Upper House but the way the bills were passed last year is really to be lamented. We were allotted four hours for two bills,' Siva told the chair.
He said that only three-and-half hours were left for discussion on the bills after half an hour got exhausted in the Zero Hour session.
'First these bills were promulgated as ordinances then it was brought as bills to replace them,' Siva said.
Naidu said that the entire thing was done as per procedure.
'We have gone through it. Time allocated to each party was exhausted. Except the Congress party and the ruling party all other parties had utilised their time. Their speakers got exhausted,' Naidu said.
BJP MP Bhupender Yadav said that the statement of Siva is incorrect and it should be deleted from the records.
Eight MPs of different political parties were suspended in the monsoon session on the day the farms bills were passed in Rajya Sabha.
Naidu said as the chair of the House he had made a clear observation and saw 35 speakers of different political parties having utilised their allotted time.
'Two parties for whatever reason, they have reduced their speakers. I can't force them. It is wrong information. The man who asked for division, he was not there on his seat. He came to the well of the House. What is that you are now trying to tell me. If you have numbers you can anytime oppose the government,' Naidu said.
Siva said that he was in his seat but the House was not in order.
The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill were passed by both the House of Parliament amid protests by opposition parties like the Congress, TMC, DMK and the Left, as well as some farmer groups.
'What we suggested was that if the bills had been sent to a select committee, the farmers or the stakeholders could have been presented before the committee and given us two month time,' Siva said.
TRS MP K Keshava Rao said that members were given time to speak and the government had responded well.
'If the government says they are agreeing to MSP, I don't see any reason why it should not go in the book of law,' Rao said.
During his speech in Rajya Sabha, Siva also raised the issue of price rise of petrol, diesel, LPG and alleged misuse of laws such as the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
Siva also raised concern over sudden lockdown announced by the government during the COVID-19 pandemic and suffering of migrant labourers during that time.
'How the migrant labourers walked miles across which reminded about the partition days. How many died on the way? Nobody was able to survey. All of a sudden it was done. The situation might have warranted the government to declare a lockdown but at the same time necessary measures for those migrant labourers has not been done,' Siva said. Rao during his speech demanded that the members of Parliament specially those in Lok Sabha should be vaccinated at the earliest. PTI PRS SMN SMN