LS Speaker meets opposition leaders after they announce boycott of proceedings


NEW DELHI: Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Tuesday met leaders of Congress and some other opposition parties after Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury announced their boycott of proceedings in solidarity the opposition members of Rajya Sabha who boycotted the proceedings earlier in the day over the manner in which agriculture bills were passed.

Eight members of the opposition have also been suspended in the upper House for “disregarding the authority of the chair”.

The members put their grievances before Birla which he tried to address. While coming out of the meeting a senior leader said that no consensus has been reached and they will boycott the proceedings of the house.

“We would continue the boycott. We also protest against farm bills which are against the agrarian community,” the leader said.

Before Congress and other opposition parties decided to boycott proceedings, Chowdhury sought withdrawal of agriculture bills. He said the government can withdraw the bills as they have not been signed yet by President Ram Nath Kovind.
The opposition members sought to raise their concerns over farm bills soon after the House met for the day. As opposition members resorted to sloganeering, Birla adjourned the House for an hour to prevent social distancing norms from being violated.

When the House reconvened, the members again raised the issue of agriculture bills and referred to the proceedings in the Rajya Sabha but the Speaker said that no such reference will go on record.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said it was unfortunate that matters of the other House are being sought to be discussed.

DMP MP TR Balu said the agriculture bills can be sent for approval to the President only after they get “proper consent” from both Houses.

“These bills have not been given proper consent by the MPs,” he said.

Agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar targeted the Congress.

“Congress says one thing and does another. Those protesting are not farmers but related to Congress. PM Modi wants to increase the growth rate of agriculture. I am shocked to see reactions of Congress. The same Congress that was in favour of these changes,” he said.

The Rajya Sabha had witnessed unruly scenes on Sunday as Opposition members stormed the well of the House and came near the podium, where Deputy Chairman was seated, to protest against 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.

Eight opposition MPs were suspended by the Rajya Sabha Chairman on Monday over the ruckus created in the Upper House.

Congress and some other opposition parties on Tuesday boycotted the proceedings of Rajya Sabha after remarks of Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad. (ANI)