The Lok Sabha on Thursday was adjourned multiple times after Opposition leaders protested the new farm laws, and demanded that they be repealed. The House was first adjourned till 5 pm, and then finally till 4 pm on Friday.
Earlier in the day, Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan told the Rajya Sabha that the Bharatiya Janata Party does not discriminate between the states ruled by it and other parties. The Upper House of the Parliament has been adjourned for the day.
Stormy confrontations took place in the Rajya Sabha as the Opposition criticised the government for its handling of the farm laws.
Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien alleged that the Narendra Modi government had failed the country at many levels. Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, meanwhile, said the way the Centre was crushing dissent in a democracy was deplorable.
Here are the top updates of the day:
9.13 pm: The Lok Sabha has been adjourned for the rest of the day as the opposition protest continued in the House, reports ANI.
7.39 pm: The Lok Sabha has been adjourned till 8.30 pm after Opposition leaders shout slogans, reports The Hindu.
6.25 pm: Lok Sabha adjourned till 7 pm, reports ANI.
5.30 pm: The Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2021, has been introduced in the Lower House through a voice vote, reports The Hindu.
5.28 pm: The Lok Sabha has been adjourned till 6 pm after the Chair urged protesting members to take their seats. “It is not achieving any purpose, we are making a mockery of ourselves,” the Chair said, according to The Hindu.
4.28 pm: Loktantrik Janata Dal MP MV Shreyams Kumar strongly criticises the Centre’s handling of the farmers’ protest. He says the barricading of protest sites is reminiscent of China’s Tiananmen Square, PTI reports.
“Rashtrapati [the president] can see how democracy is butchered just a few km away from the Rashtrapati Bhavan – the Singhu border (the epicentre of the farmer agitation),” he says. “Our annadatas, the kisan, on whom the Rashtrapati showers praise in his speech, is silenced and traumatised with multi-layered barricading, iron nails on road, barbed wires and iron rods between cemented barricades, reminding one of the horrific Tiananmen Square.”
4.26 pm: The Lok Sabha is adjourned till 5 pm as the Opposition demands the repeal of the farming laws, ANI reports.
3.57 pm: Trinanool Congress MP Derek O’Brien proposes “The Repealing Bill 2021”, to withdraw the three new farm laws, reports PTI.
2.41 pm: Aam Aadmi Party MP Sanjay Singh alleges that BJP workers had stormed the Red Fort during the farmers’ Republic Day tractor rally, The Indian Express reports. “On seven routes farmers marched peacefully on January 26, those who stormed Red Fort and disrespected tricolour belong to BJP.” he says. “Deep Sidhu is a BJP man. He has met PM [Prime Minister] Modi.
2.34 pm: The Rajya Sabha is adjourned till 9 am on Friday, ANI reports.
1.46 pm: Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan hails the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he is a “decisive leader who does not just give slogans”, reports The Hindu. Pradhan adds that the BJP does not discriminate between states ruled by it and other parties.
1.27 pm: Aam Aadmi Party MP Sanjay Singh demands repeal of farm laws, claiming 165 farmers have lost their lives while protesting, reports ANI.
“Farmers are protesting for 76 days and they are being lathi-charged, called traitors, terrorists and Khalistanis,” Singh says. “Talks [with Centre] happened 11 times, all [of them] failed. Government claims to be a call away, but doesn’t bother.”
1.07 pm: Kumar alleges that the Bharatiya Janata Party had allowed miscreants to storm into the Red Fort during the farmers’ rally on Republic Day, but is now blaming the protestors, reports The Hindu. “The dispensation allowed miscreants to enter Red Fort and make jingoist slogans, and for this, all farmers are being called anti-nationals,” he says. “The country is being mortgaged to private entities.”
1.05 pm: Loktantrik Janata Dal leader MV Shreyams Kumar criticises the government for clamping down on journalists, saying “even the military junta Myanmar is ranked above India in press freedom index”, reports The Hindu.
12.45 pm: Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader NR Elango also hits out at the government for refusing to repeal the farm laws, reports The Hindu. “There is no need for Centre to legislate it in such a tearing hurry,” he says. “This is against federalism. These laws are going to create a black market regime.”
12.43 pm: Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Deve Gowda calls farmers the backbone of the country, reports PTI. He adds that certain “miscreants and anti-social elements” were behind the events of Republic Day, and that all political parties have condemned their actions. “But the farmers’ issue should not be mixed with it,” he says.
12.40 pm: Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien says the government has failed India “at many levels,” reports ANI. “It failed to uphold Parliament’s sanctity because of its arrogance,” he adds. “On September 20, 2020, seven MPs who stood for farmers were suspended... I stand in solidarity with the farmers who lost their lives.”
12.38 pm: Opposition leaders corner the government in Rajya Sabha over the new farm laws. Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Deve Gowda speaks about how agriculture is a state subject, and therefore, the opinion of the state governments has to be taken into account before passing any laws.
11.10 am: Bharatiya Janata Party leader Jyotiraditya Scindia hails the Centre’s handling of the coronavirus crisis, saying the country had “risen like a phoenix from ashes” of the pandemic, reports The Hindu.
“The country followed the lockdown [during coronavirus pandemic] on the request of one person,” he adds, referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “There was another lockdown in 1975 when the whole country was converted into a jail.”
11.02 am: Singh also mentions the arrest of activist Sudha Bhardwaj in the Bhima Koregaon case. “She was a Harvard professor and now she is languishing in jail for supporting Dalits in Bhima Koregaon,” he says.
11.00 am: Congress leader Digvijaya Singh hits out at the Narendra Modi government while speaking in the House, reports The Hindu. “We respect the mandate you have, but the way in which dissent which is the backbone of a democracy is being suppressed in our country is deplorable,” he says. “The hoisting of cases against farmers, journalists, activists and such need to stop.”
9.55 am: Kanakamedala Ravindra Kumar of the Telugu Desam Party, while speaking on Motion of Thanks on President’s Address, says the government should be “magnanimous in considering the farmers demands,” reports The Hindu.
9.50 am: Rashtriya Janata Dal MP Manoj Jha asserts that India’s democracy “will not be weakened by anyone’s tweets,” reports The Hindu. He is referring to the Centre’s response to tweets by pop star Rihanna and other international personalities in support of the farm laws.
“A country is made of relationships, you have ended so many relationships,” Jha says. “Our democracy is strong, it will not be weakened by anyone’s tweet.”
9.26 am: Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy introduces Bill in Rajya Sabha to replace the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021, reports ANI.
9.22 am: Congress MP Manish Tewari has given adjournment motion notice in Lok Sabha over the farm laws, reports The Indian Express.
9.20 am: Congress MP Jairam Ramesh requests that more members be allowed in the Rajya Sabha hall to create an atmosphere of debate, reports The Indian Express. Currently, members are spread across Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha halls due to coronavirus protocols. House Naidu says they will discuss the issue later.
9.19 am: The day’s proceedings begin in Rajya Sabha.
9.16 am: In Lok Sabha, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will introduce The Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 202.
9.15 am: Union Home Minister Amit Shah will introduce a Bill to amend the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 in the Upper House today, reports The Indian Express.
9.10 am: Stormy confrontations on the contentious agriculture laws are likely to continue in both Houses of Parliament on Thursday, with the Opposition demanding a separate discussion on the farmer protests.
9.10 am: Here are the top updates from Wednesday
- Protests against the new farm laws dominated the Lok Sabha proceedings, following which the House was adjourned for the rest of the day.
- In Rajya Sabha, Leader of Opposition Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad urged the Centre to repeal the three laws. He told the Rajya Sabha that the British had also withdrawn a farming law during their rule.
- Earlier in the day, the Centre and the Opposition parties came to an agreement on the discussion of farm laws. The 15-hour deliberations will take place in the Rajya Sabha, where the Question Hour has been suspended for two days.
- External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said in the Rajya Sabha that the deaths of four Tamil Nadu fishermen in Sri Lanka was unacceptable, and that India had taken up the matter with the Sri Lankan government in the “strongest terms”. The four fishermen were reported missing on January 19. Four days later, the Sri Lankan Navy said that their bodies had been found in the Palk Strait. The fishermen reportedly died after their boat collided with a Sri Lankan Navy vessel.
- The day also witnessed three Aam Aadmi Party MPs, including Sanjay Singh, getting suspended for a day for “creating ruckus” in Rajya Sabha.