On violence during tractor rally on Republic Day, Pralhad Joshi quotes Modi as stating that ‘law must take its own course’
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said at an all-party meeting of floor leaders in Parliament that the government’s proposal of suspending the implementation of three farm laws, against which farmers unions have been protesting for months, still stood, and that any resolution of the issue “should be found through dialogue” adding “we all have to think about the nation.”
The remarks came after a number of Opposition leaders, including Ghulam Nabi Azad of the Congress, Trinamool Congress’s Sudeip Bandopadhyaya, Shiv Sena’s Vinayak Raut and Shiromani Akali Dal’s Balwinder Singh Bhunder, spoke about the long agitation by farmers’ unions on Delhi’s borders. Significantly, Janata Dal (U) leader RCP Singh supported the government position on the laws.
“I want to reiterate what [Agriculture Minister) Narendra Singh Tomar told farmers. He said – we’ve not reached a consensus but we are giving you [farmers] the offer and you may go and deliberate. He told farmers that he was just a phone call away,” Mr. Modi is reported to have told the Opposition leaders during the meeting.
On the violence during the tractor rally by farmers groups on Republic Day and siege of the Red Fort, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi quoted Mr. Modi as stating that “law must take its own course” with regard to the incident.
Separate discussion sought
Political leaders, however, have insisted on a separate discussion on farmers issues, especially the three laws.
In a meeting held by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Friday, the same demand was kept but leaders were told that they could raise these issues during the debate on the Motion of thanks to the President for his address to both Houses of Parliament set to be initiated after the Budget is tabled.
On Friday, in separate press conferences, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Shiromani Akali Dal leader Sukhbir Singh Badal extended support to the agitation by farmers and Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leaer Rakesh Tikait.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Sharad Pawar tweeted that his party had raised the issue of farmers and discussed the women’s reservation Bill as well. The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has demanded that the Bill be brought in and its passage through Parliament done during this session.
The Prime Minister also pointed out that frequent disruptions of the House were detrimental to smaller parties, which got very limited time to speak in Parliament. He appealed to the larger parties to help run the House.
As per sources, four days have been allotted to debate the Motion of thanks to the President for his address, 26 news bills are to be introduced, including six related to Finance.