8 opposition members suspended from Indian Parliament after chaos over passage of farming bills

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21 September 2020

A day after the Indian parliament’s upper house witnessed unprecedented chaos during passage of a farming Bill, eight opposition members were suspended for the rest of the ongoing Monsoon Session on Monday, APA reports citing Sputnik.

The brief session of parliament’s upper house, the Rajya Sabha, however, is set to continue until 1 October.

Chairman of the House and Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Monday said, “I am pained at what happened yesterday. It defies logic. It is a bad day for the Rajya Sabha.”

He said members threw papers, wrenched mikes away and “physically threatened” the Rajya Sabha’s Deputy Chairman Harvansh Singh.

Amid the chaos, the Bill was passed on Sunday (20 September). It was earlier cleared by the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the parliament, and would now go to the President Ram Nath Kovind for approval before being signed into law.

Opposition parties alleged the proposed Bill would place power into the hands of corporations, and farmers would be deprived of a fair price for their produce.

Their main contention was that the minimum support price for agricultural produce would be scrapped, placing the farmers at the mercy of private procurement agencies.

The government, on the other hand, said it would introduce major reforms to the lives of farmers.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured the farmers that the minimum support price (MSP) system would remain.

“System of MSP will remain. Government procurement will continue. We are here to serve our farmers. We will do everything possible to support them and ensure a better life for their coming generations,” Modi said in a tweet on Sunday.

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