Ravi S Singh
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, February 5
The Opposition in the Rajya Sabha amped up their stand against the three farm laws on Friday, demanding their repeal and sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention to end the deadlock.
They demanded a time-bound judicial probe headed by a sitting Supreme Court judge into the violence and defiling of the national flag at Red Fort on Republic Day.
On the other hand, the BJP members put up a stout defence of the laws, saying they were reformative and aimed to scale up the agriculture sector.
They were upfront in appreciation of government’s performance under the leadership of Modi.
Taking part in the discussion on Motion of Thanks on the President’s address, Anand Sharma of the Congress said the current impasse on the laws is due to the rigid stand of the government in continuing with them.
He asked the government to listen to the dissenting voices and voice of the Opposition in the best tradition of democracy.
Agriculture is a “State” subject. It is not even in the Concurrent List. Hence, the Centre’s legislation on the farm laws was legally questionable, he said.
He expressed concern at the judiciary’s delays in giving judgments on issues constitutional, like the farm laws and Citizenship (Amendment) Act.
He demanded withdrawal of the laws.
He said the laws were passed in Rajya Sabha in an undemocratic manner by giving short shrift to parliamentary procedures.
Sharma demanded judicial probe into the violence at Red Fort on Republic Day to bring the culprits to book.
Sharma, however, lauded the country’s successful resolve to tackle COVID-19 pandemic, especially manufacturing of the two indigenous vaccines against coronavirus.
Binoy Viswam of the CPI, Praful Patel of the NCP and SC Mishra of the BSP also demanded withdrawal of the laws.
BJP’s Vinay Sahsrabuddhe said the country has scaled new heights and set new milestones in its march toward progress under leadership of Modi.
He defended the farm laws, saying they were progressive.
He flayed the Opposition parties for saying that the government was “arrogant” in not acceding to demand for repeal of the farm laws.
He rubbished allegations that the government is not talking to the farmers on the laws.
“The government has assured that it will put implementation of the laws on hold for one-and-half years,” he said.
“You also show flexibility,” Sahasrabuddhe said, addressing the Opposition parties.
He said the laws were enacted after many discussions in the country, and reports, including the one headed by Montek Singh Ahluwalia which recommended reform of agriculture sector.
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