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'Extremely shameful': Rajnath Singh on ruckus over farm bills in RS

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New Delhi, Sep 20: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh termed the behaviour of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha "saddening, unfortunate and shameful".

Rajnath Singh

Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Prakash Javadekar, Pralhad Joshi, Piyush Goyal, Thawarchand Gehlot and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi held a press conference to hit out at opposition members, with Singh asserting that such conduct was not expected in a healthy democracy.

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"What happened in Rajya Sabha today was saddening, unfortunate and shameful. It is the responsibility of the ruling side to enable discussions in the House but it is also the duty of the Opposition to maintain decorum," said Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Farm Bills during a press conference.

"As far as I know, this has never happened in the history of Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha. This happening in Rajya Sabha is an even bigger matter. Attempts are being made to mislead the farmers on the basis of rumours. What happened is against the decorum of House," he told reporters.

"Notice has been given to the Chairman. A decision will be taken by him. I don't want to say anything politically. This is the prerogative of the Chairman," ANI quoted Singh as saying, on no-confidence motion by the Opposition against Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh.

"I am also a farmer and I want to assure farmers of the country that MSP (minimum support price) and APMC (Agricultural Produce Market Committee) systems are not going to end," he said.

Rajya Sabha on Sunday passed two key farm bills amid a bedlam as opposition members charged towards the podium of the presiding officer, flung the rule book at him, tore official papers and heckled him over their demand for a division of vote.

The Upper House, which witnessed a brief adjournment due to the pandemonium, passed by voice vote 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. The bills have already been passed by Lok Sabha and will now go to the President for his assent before they are notified as laws.

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Trouble started when the sitting of the House was extended beyond the scheduled time to allow passage of the bills. Opposition members, who felt such a move should be resorted to only by consensus, rushed into the Well, shouting slogans against the government and accusing it of being anti-farmer.

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