Farmer agitation rocks Lok Sabha; Tomar says ready for discussions

LS adjourns twice amid ruckus over farmers issue; Tomas says ready for discussions
Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar at Lok Sabha during the Budget Session of Parliament, in New Delhi, Tuesday. Videograb from LSTV via PTI

New Delhi: The government on Tuesday asserted in Lok Sabha that it was ready to discuss issues related to farmers both inside and outside Parliament amid vociferous protests by the Opposition which forced the House to adjourn twice, first for almost an hour and then for nearly two hours.

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said during Zero Hour, which began at 5 pm, that the Modi government is always committed to discuss the farmer's issues.

"Government is ready to discuss issues related to farmers inside and outside Parliament," he said amid sloganeering by opposition members.

Tomar's reply came after Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury claimed that 170 farmers have died during the ongoing agitation against the three contentious farm laws.

"Atrocities are being committed on farmers. Situation is similar to British rule," he alleged.

As opposition members, including from Congress, DMK, Trinamool Congress, SP and BSP, trooped near the well, Speaker Om Birla appealed to them to go back to their seats so that House can taken up normal business.

"This House is for debate and discussions. Please go back to your seats," he said.

However, the unrelenting opposition continued their protests, leading to the Speaking announcing the second adjournment till 7pm.

Lok Sabha
Union ministers and members in the Lok Sabha during the Budget Session of Parliament, in New Delhi, Tuesday. Videograb from LSTV via PTI

Earlier, as soon as the House met at 4 pm, opposition members disrupted the Question Hour to press for repeal of the three "black" laws and raised slogans.

Members from the Shiv Sena were seen raising slogans from the aisles. Former Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal of the Shiromani Akali Dal was also seen holding a poster demanding repeal of the contentious agriculture legislations.

The Speaker urged the members to return to their seats and follow the COVID-19 protocol. He said in the ongoing Question Hour, questions related to farmers were listed and members can raise their issues at that time.

He also said during the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President's address, members can raise these issues. But opposition members refused to relent forcing him to adjourn the proceedings around 4:10pm.

Several farmers unions have been staging protests at various border points of Delhi demanding repeal of the farm laws.

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