New Delhi: Ahead of Parliament’s Winter Session, RJD leader Manoj Kumar Jha on Sunday demanded that the government should bring a bill to provide legal guarantee for MSP and give an assurance on the floor of the House that cases filed against farmers will be withdrawn as well as compensation will be paid to the families of those who died during the farm laws agitation.
The Rajya Sabha member, who is an influential voice of the Opposition, also said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should “explain” in Parliament why the farmers’ movement was “denigrated” and “demonised” before agreeing to repeal the farm laws.
In an interview with PTI, Jha said the Opposition was committed to the smooth functioning of Parliament and would take “four steps for it, provided the ruling party takes two” in a meaningful direction with an open mind.
Describing the RJD-Congress war of words during the recent bypolls in Bihar as “episodic”, he also dismissed reported divisions within the Opposition ranks and asserted that almost the entire Opposition is united in demanding a bill giving legal guarantee for the Minimum Support Price (MSP).
Asked about the Congress-Trinamool Congress run-ins of late, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader said if a political party is enhancing its footprint then that is a question of their political constituency but in Parliament it was about collectively raising the voice of people of India.
He asserted that the Opposition unity inside Parliament would not be affected.
Noting that the Centre is bringing a bill to repeal the three farm laws which have been at the centre of farmers’ protests, Jha said the government should bring a separate bill exclusively for providing legal guarantee for MSP where in all crops be included.
“That has been a consistent demand of the farmers. Interestingly, this was also demanded during Constituent Assembly debates and I hope the government understands now what is the power of the voice of the farming community, they have experienced it,” the Rajya Sabha leader said.
Asserting that he was making the demand on behalf of the Opposition, Jha also pointed out that nearly all opposition parties decided not to attend the November 26 Constitution Day programme because they believe that “trampling upon constitutional values and celebrating Constitution Day do not go hand in hand”.
He also demanded that Prime Minister Modi should make a statement on the floor of the House and come clean on the handling of the farm laws issue by the government.
“This Cabinet is a one-man Cabinet. For instance, the decision to repeal (the farm laws) did not come from the Agriculture Minister, it came from the PM. In a government when an individual is not first amongst equal but is the first and the last, in that kind of a situation nobody else matters except the PM, therefore his version matters to us and the farmers,” Jha said.
If the government had not bulldozed the bills in Parliament, they would not have to “cut a sorry figure” a year later, he said.
“We would certainly want the PM to speak his mind as to what made him decide (to bring these laws). Why all kinds of epithets were used for farmers — khalistanis, Pakistanis, andolanjeevis.You denigrated a movement, you demonised a movement, and finally you had to listen to that movement. Had you done it earlier, India would not have wasted so much time and the farming community would not have been away from their homes for so long,” Jha said.
The RJD leader said the Opposition would also raise the demand in Parliament that cases against farmers be taken back and compensation paid to kin of those deceased during the agitation.
He said a “committed assurance” would be sought by everyone in the Opposition from the government on the floor of the House on these issues.
His remarks come a day before the start of the Winter Session with the Farm Laws Repeal Bill, 2021 listed for introduction and passage in Lok Sabha on the first day itself.
In a special address to the nation, Prime Minister Modi on November 19 announced that all three farm laws, which were passed by Parliament in September last year, will be repealed in the Winter Session and had said these laws were brought for the welfare of farmers, especially small farmers, but his government could not explain the benefits to some farmers despite its efforts.
Farmers have been demanding that the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020; be rolled back and a new law made to guarantee the minimum support price for crops.
Talking about other issues that the Opposition would look to raise during the session, Jha said it would like to convey a message to the ruling party that “restore the dignity of Parliamentary democracy”.
“If they had been sensitive to the nuances of parliamentary democracy, they would not have had to go for a repeal for a bill which they just passed bulldozing through Parliament last year,” he said.
“Unprecedented levels of unemployment”, issues related to privatisation and developments vis-a-vis China are also key issues that need to be extensively deliberated upon, Jha asserted. (PTI)
Indian Legal Lottery Operator Competing for Top British Contract
Ladakh reports 33 new Covid cases
Anti-inflammation drug may effectively treat COVID-19 complications in children: Study
Apple previews new software for iPhone, other gadgets
RBI to conduct overnight VRR auction of Rs 75,000 cr on Monday
Gold jumps Rs 255 on global trends
India’s economy has some bright spots, a number of very dark stains: Raghuram Rajan
Silver jumps Rs 1,603, gold marginally up
ATF price hiked by 4.2 pc
Download 10Cric Casino app, and enjoy Indias most popular casino games, directly on your mobile!
Gamble with real money online! Play Indias favourite casino games at 7Jackpots.com, Indias most trusted online casino site.
© 2020 State Times Daily Newspaper | Powered by Ideogram Technology Solutions [P] Ltd.