Even as the government introduced two of the three contentious farm Bills in the Rajya Sabha on Sunday, the Upper House witnessed ruckus for a brief period when a YSR Congress Party member used the word "dalal" for the opposition Congress.
YSRCP MP calls Congress 'party of middlemen'
Speaking in the House, YSRCP MP VV Reddy said that there was no reason for the Congress to oppose these Bills. He called the Congress a "party of middlemen". Reddy brandished a Congress poll manifesto that he claimed promised to repeal the marketing committees and establish farmers' markets to call out its alleged hypocrisy on the issue.
This comment infuriated former Union Minister and Congress member Anand Sharma, who demanded an apology from Reddy.
The Congress called the contentious Bills as "death warrants" for the peasants.
Congress member Partap Singh Bajwa, who hails from Punjab and is one of the most vociferous opponents of the Bills, said: "We will not sign on these death warrants of farmers. Agricultural markets are a State subject. APMC and MSP shouldn't be tinkered with."
He also raised the issue of the timing of the Bills, which were passed by the Lok Sabha, saying that the pressing need for the Bills to be brought in when India is battling the coronavirus pandemic and LAC tension was beyond comprehension.
Meanwhile, Communist Party of India-Marxit MP KK Ragesh called the Bills "corporate's freedom". He said: "The government is throwing the farmers at the mercy of our corporates. This is not the farmers', but corporates' freedom. They are prone to sell their produce according to the dictates of the corporates."
Earlier in the day, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar moved the Farmers' and Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, in the Rajya Sabha. The BJP had issued a 3-line whip to all its members to be present in the Upper House.