As soon as the question hour was taken up, opposition members raised the issue of farmers on Wednesday.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar reminded the opposition that a discussion on the issue of farmers is listed in Wednesday’s agenda. He said the government was ready for a debate and would answer all the questions raised by members. “Do not interrupt the House. Let us debate,” he said.
But the opposition members, including those from the Left and the RJD, continued raising the issue from the Well.
Most of the Congress members, who were also in the Well, raised slogans such as “Mann ki Baat band karo, karza maafi shuru karo (stop talking on radio programme, implement loan waiver)” and “stop shooting farmers”.
The Monsoon session started with Opposition uproar on various issues and BSP supremo Mayawati resigned from Rajya Sabha saying that the ruling party BJP does not allow her to speak on the issues related to Dalits.
The Opposition is expected to get together and demand enactment of Manav Suraksha Kanoon (MASUKA) law against the issue of mob lynching and atrocities being unleashed on Dalits and minorities in the country.
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Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said a discussion on the matter has been accepted and the members can raise their points during the debate.
Raising the issue, Sharad Yadav (JD-U) claimed that 15-20 farmers were committing suicide every day.
He said pulses production has been raised by 33 per cent but the government has lowered the import duty on it to zero, resulting in cheaper shipments into the country.
Farmers, he said, are being forced to make distress sale.
Digvijaya Singh (Cong) said the farmers were getting
“bullets instead of price”.
Kurien said besides Yadav, Pramod Tiwari (Cong), Naresh Agarwal (SP), Ram Gopal Yadav (SP), Kapil Sibal (Cong) and Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M) had given notice under 267 on the issue.
A discussion on the subject has been admitted and the members can raise their points then, he said.
Ali Anwar Ansari (JD-U) through a Zero Hour mention raised the issue of manual scavenging saying this practice was continuing even after the government has declared it illegal.
Four workers, he said, died in the national capital due to toxic gases while cleaning a septic tank.
“All four are dalits,” he said, adding over 2,500 dalits have lost their lives in last two-and-half-years due to this practice but no cases have been registered or compensation paid.
While the government on the one hand talks of going to Mars, on the other it provides no equipment or apparatus for such cleaning activities, he said. “Our sensitivities are dead,” he said.
With PTI inputs