Home Fashion Vogue "Rajya Sabha Boycott Till 3 Demands Met": Opposition Cranks Up Pressure

“Rajya Sabha Boycott Till 3 Demands Met”: Opposition Cranks Up Pressure

A number of opposition parties led by the Congress staged a walkout from the Rajya Sabha.New Delhi:
The opposition will boycott the proceedings of the Rajya Sabha till three key demands as well as a “request” of revoking of the suspension of eight members, are met, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad declared in the upper house today as high drama continued for the third straight day. The suspended members continued their sit-in on the lawns of the parliament complex till about 11:30 AM after spending the night there in protest. They were suspended over Sunday’s unprecedented chaos and “unruly behaviour” in the Rajya Sabha when two controversial farm bills were passed. The Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman is at the heart of opposition protests; their no-confidence motion against him was rejected yesterday by Chairman Venkaiah Naidu. Here are the top 10 updates on this big story:A number of opposition parties led by the Congress staged a walkout from the Rajya Sabha today, demanding that the suspension of eight members be revoked. The Congress was the first to walkout from the house along with members of the Aam Aadmi Party, Trinamool Congress and Left parties. Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal and Mayawatis Bahujan Samaj Party are not part of the opposition boycott. Despite the boycott, the Rajya Sabha proceeded with the debate on the third farm bill, chaired by the Deputy Chairman. The bill was passed in the afternoon.Mr Azad, the leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha, spelt out three demands centred on ensuring that the minimum support price (MSP) is not weakened, and their “request” of revoking the suspension of the eight members. He demanded that the government brings a bill which should ensure private players don’t procure food grains below the MSP fixed by the government. The opposition also demanded for the MSP to be based on the recommendations of the MS Swaminathan committee report. Thirdly, the opposition demanded that the government or the Food Corporation Of India ensure that crops are procured from the farmers at the fixed minimum support price.”We will consider revoking suspension only after the suspended Rajya Sabha members apologise for their behaviour,” Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters. Leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha, Thawar Chand Gehlot, too made the same point.Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh went to the protesting members with tea and served it in cups this morning on the lawns of the parliament complex. The suspended members rebuffed his “tea diplomacy”, calling him “anti-farmer”.Soon after, Prime Minister Narendra Modi came out strongly in support of Mr Harivansh. “To personally serve tea to those who attacked and insulted him a few days ago as well as those sitting on Dharna shows that Shri Harivansh Ji has been blessed with a humble mind and a big heart. It shows his greatness. I join the people of India in congratulating Harivansh Ji,” PM Modi tweeted.Snubbed after the tea gesture, the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman declared a one-day fast till tomorrow, expressing anguish over attacks by the opposition in parliament. Commenting on Mr Harivansh’s gesture of offering tea, Mr Azad said, “I appreciate it. We may have differing views but we need to act as a family.”The eight suspended Rajya Sabha members include Trinamool Congress’s Derek O’Brien, Aam Aadmi Party’s Sanjay singh, Congress’s Rajeev Satav and CPM’s KK Ragesh. Rejecting the offer of revoking their suspension if they give an unconditional apology, Mr Ragesh told NDTV, “There is no question of an unconditional apology. The government must apologise to the farmers.”Quoting former Finance Minister and BJP stalwart Arun Jaitley, Mr Azad said in the Rajya Sabha, “In 2016, Arun Jaitley had said that any government will become illegitimate if the speaker refuses to hold voting. In today’s newspapers, there are ads of ‘one nation, one party’. For God’s sake, do not move  towards of ‘one nation, one party’.” To this, Venkaiah Naidu responded, saying, “Arun Jaitley is no more. Arun Jaitley had also spoke about the ‘tyranny of the minority’. “I appeal to all members to rethink their decision of boycott and participate in the discussion,” Mr Naidu said.Opposition members accuse the Deputy Chairman of helping the government rush through the farm bills in the Rajya Sabha on Sunday without following democratic process. Mr Harivansh had rejected their calls for sending the bills to a select committee for review or even to extend the discussion till Monday. The bills were passed with a voice vote after the Chair rejected opposition calls for physical voting and a division of votes.Dramatic scenes unfolded in the Rajya Sabha on Sunday as angry opposition members climbed onto the Secretary General’s table at the centre of the House, flung a rulebook at Harivansh and pulled out mics. A few members also tore up copies of the bills. In the unprecedented scenes, marshals had to form a wall between the Deputy Chairman and the protesting members.
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