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Farmers being misled, MSP won’t be ended: Rajnath Singh

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh addresses a press conference at the National Media Centre in New Delhi on September 20, 2020.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday said farmers were being misinformed about changes to the minimum support price (MSP) and the agricultural produce marketing committee (APMC) systems under the three new legislations, adding that they would not be ended under any circumstance.

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Mr. Singh, flanked by Union Ministers Thaawarchand Gehlot, Prakash Javadekar, Piyush Goyal, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Pralhad Joshi, addressed a press conference after the two farm Bills — 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— were passed by Rajya Sabha amid Opposition protests.

Mr Singh condemned the “misbehaviour” of some Opposition MPs with Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh during the passage of the two Bills. He said some MPs stood on the dais of Deputy Chairman Harivansh, tore papers and broke microphones.

The Minister said the violence had hurt the dignity of the House and had never been witnessed in the history of Parliament.

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Stating that farmers’ income would increase as they would be able to sell their produce anywhere in the country, Mr. Singh said misinformation was being spread among farmers.

Asked about the Opposition's notice of no-confidence against the Deputy Chairman, he said a decision on it was the Chairman’s prerogative.

Responding to a question about BJP ally Akaki Dal quitting the government over the Bills, Mr. Singh only said every such decision has political reasons.

Responding to the press conference addressed by the six Union ministers, Congress General Secretary (Organisation) and Rajya Sabha MP K.C. Venugopal said the day’s events were a well thought out conspiracy. He accused the government of coming with a prefixed mind to block the Opposition’s voice.

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“It is unfortunate that Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his colleagues had come to justify the behaviour of the Deputy Chairman. It is clear that not allowing a vote on the Bills was part of a conspiracy by the government, to suppress the voice of farmers and the opposition parties in Parliament,” Mr. Venugopal said.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala alleged that the government got the Bills passed by a voice vote in a hurry, because it was clear they no longer had numbers.

“When they saw parties like Biju Janata Dal and Telangana Rashtra Samithi both picking holes in the legislation they realised they do not have the numbers,” Mr. Surjewala said.

Also read: Farmers protest against farm bills in Haryana

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Printable version | Apr 12, 2021 1:34:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/conduct-of-opposition-members-in-rajya-sabha-shameful-says-rajnath-singh/article32654404.ece

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