Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday criticised the Opposition leaders for protesting in Parliament during the passage of agriculture bills, and said eight of them violated rules by not vacating the Rajya Sabha despite being suspended.
Prasad, flanked by Union ministers Piyush Goyal and Prahlad Joshi, was addressing a press conference a day after two farm Bills – 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 – were passed by Rajya Sabha amid vehement protests from Opposition leaders and farmers.
The bills were passed by voice vote amid scenes of pandemonium and eight legislators were suspended on Monday for their unparliamentary behaviour in the House the previous day.
“Today’s conduct of the suspended members of not refusing the House in spite of a declaration of suspension by the chairperson is illegal and further aggravates their conduct as far as violating norms of the House is concerned,” Prasad said. He also said it is an open violation of rules.
The Union minister added that the conduct of Opposition leaders was “shameful” and “irresponsible”. “There is enough visual evidence available that if the marshals would have not protected the Deputy Chairperson Harivansh ji, he would have been nearly physically assaulted,” Prasad said.
The minister also claimed that the Bharatiya Janata Party had a clear majority in Rajya Sabha for the passage of the contentious bills, adding that 110 members supported it and over 70 opposed it.