05 Feb 2021: Opposition tears into Centre over farm reforms; Lok Sabha adjourned
Bedlam continued inside the Lok Sabha on Thursday and in the Rajya Sabha, the Opposition berated the Centre over the three agricultural reforms and the farmers' agitation, which has been continuing since November.
The Lok Sabha assembled four times yesterday but the sloganeering by Opposition didn't stop, sparking the adjournment of the House till 4 pm today.
Here's what went down.
Session: A 'peace formula' gave Opposition ample time to slam Centre
While disruptions dominated Lok Sabha, Opposition and Centre devised a "peace formula" for the Upper House.
The Opposition asked the Centre to dedicate more time for debate on the motion of thanks to the President's address and the latter agreed.
Thereafter, politicians from different parties slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Rajya Sabha over how farmers' protests were handled.
Speech: Manoj Jha highlighted the 'security conditions' at protest sites
In his speech, laced with sarcasm, Manoj Jha of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) asserted that not every word said against the Centre is anti-national.
"In harsh winter you stopped water supply and toilet facilities, dug trenches, put barbed wires, and installed spikes," he said.
Referring to the Ministry of External Affair's recent unprecedented response, Jha said democracy wouldn't be weakened by a tweet.
Details: 'Monologues must be ended'
Jha also said that the Centre has only constructed walls. "They talk of having given this and that to farmers, but there is no place for language of charity in a democracy. The monologues should be ended," he declared.
He also asked the federal government who was it up against after all.
"Who are you fighting? They are your own farmers," he underlined.
Statement: Derek O'Brien paused speech to pay tribute to deceased farmers
Derek O'Brien pressed the government to repeal the laws. He stopped his speech for one minute to pay tribute to the farmers who lost lives during the agitation.
Senior leader of Congress, Digvijaya Singh, said the gap between the promise and implementation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government was massive, and it could not win anyone's hearts, be it the poor, farmers, or laborers.
Reference: LJD MP said recent incidents reminded of Tiananmen Square
Separately, Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) member MV Shreyams Kumar said democracy was being "butchered" just a few kilometers away from the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
"Our annadatas, the kisan, on whom the Rashtrapati showers praise in his speech, is silenced and traumatized with multi-layered barricading, iron nails on road, barbed wires, and iron rods between cemented barricades, reminding one of the horrific Tiananmen Square," he said.
Fact: 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' is just a catchy slogan: Kumar
"Rashtrapati speaks a lot about Aatmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India). This is nothing but a catchy slogan aimed at hoodwinking the citizens. From computers to fabrics and from aircraft to toys — everything is imported," he added.
Adjournments: Lok Sabha was adjourned four times due to Opposition-led din
While Opposition members in the Rajya Sabha managed to voice their opinions, the Lok Sabha failed to transact any business for a third consecutive day on Thursday.
The House re-assembled at 7 pm after the third adjournment only to be adjourned for the fourth time till 8:30 pm.
Opposition leaders kept shouting slogans against the reforms and the House's adjournment was extended till today.
Letter: Select Opposition MPs wrote to Birla about situation at hotspots
Meanwhile, a handful of Opposition leaders that attempted to meet protesting farmers at Ghazipur wrote to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla.
"The impression we got at the Delhi-Ghazipur border is like the border between India and Pakistan. The condition of farmers resemble that of prisoners in jail," they reportedly said in the letter focusing on the treatment meted out to farmers.