Mega protests by farmers were seen on the day the Parliament's Upper House cleared two of three contentious agriculture-related bills. The Rajya Sabha passed the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020. The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020 could not be taken up. Meanwhile, farmers - especially in Punjab and Haryana - blocked roads and highways, took out tractor rallies, and sat on dharnas, to oppose the new legislation which they believe will render the minimum support price (MSP) scheme ineffective and leave them at the mercy of big farmers and corporates. Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the government's outreach, and said that the MSP system is safe and the new legislations only aim to provide futuristic technology to farmers while freeing them from the grip of middlemen. However, there are some farmers who are not part of the agitation and support the bills. Watch the full video to know what they are saying.
Credit: HT Digital Content Duration: 03:27Published
Farmers of Maharashtra's Dhule district welcomed the new agriculture reform bills. The bills were passed in the Rajya Sabha today amid oppositions' ruckus. One of the farmers said, "The Bills introduced in the Lok Sabha by the Modi government has removed all the compulsions that farmers have had for so long. Now we can sell our harvests all over the country."
Congress Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament Ahmed Patel attacked BJP-led Modi government saying that farm bills passed in Rajya Sabha goes against democratic processes and amounts to killing democracy. "This day will go down in history as 'black day'. The way these bills have been passed goes against democratic processes and amounts to killing democracy. 12 opposition parties have moved a no-confidence motion against Rajya Sabha Dy Chairman," said Patel.
Varanasi's famous Sankat Mochan Temple re-opened for devotees after 183 days on September 20. The temple was shut due to COVID-19, now it is open for devotees with COVID precautionary measures. Only 10 devotees are allowed entry at a time and wearing mask is mandatory.Meanwhile, the total number of active cases in Uttar Pradesh has reached 67,825.
Fire broke out at a building of Diesel Locomotive Works (DLW) in Uttar Pradesh's Varanasi on September 16. Fire tenders are present on the spot to douse the flames. No casualties and injures have been reported so far. More details are awaited.
Farmer of Moradabad and Gorakhpur are optimistic about the agriculture bills. UP framers said these bills will give them new opportunities. In Madhya Pradesh also farmers accepted the reform. Rajya Sabha passed the Farmers' and Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020.
Large number of people lost their jobs or facing huge losses in businesses due to coronavirus. Jaki, a residence of Uttar Pradesh's Sambhal district is one of them. However, he didn't lose hope and tried another option to survive in this corona pandemic. He started making decorative items for interior. He took unused or waste parts for motorcycle and bicycle to make this decor items. Fortunately, he started getting order. "Buyers put the exports items on hold due to coronavirus. We were free and thought of doing something for interior purpose and started this business and made walk clock, card holder, pen holder and other home decor items. Many people liked these items and we start getting orders form abroad," said Jaki.
TMC's Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament Derek O'Brien on September 20 tried to justify the misconduct of MPs over agriculture reform bills in the Upper House by saying "MPs broke microphone in Rajya Sabha but BJP broke the backbone of Indian democracy."
Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal expressed disappointment over the senior ministers not condemning Deputy Chairman's behavior in their press conference on September 20. He further claimed the Rajya Sabha ruckus to be a conspiracy, built by BJP leadership. KC Venugopal said, "I saw the press conference by Rajnath Singh and 5 other Ministers. They're justifying Deputy Chairman's action and attitude. That was very unfortunate. We expected decent reaction from senior Ministers. They should've at least condemned the practice." "But they are justifying the Deputy Chairman, and the procedure. It means today's entire episode was a conspiracy, built by BJP leadership. They want to suppress the voice of farmers in the House," he added.
BJP Rajya Sabha MP Bhupender Yadav lashed out at opposition's behavior in the Rajya Sabha, earlier in the day on September 20 during the discussion of the agriculture bills. Yadav called it a shameful act and demanded an apology for the misconduct. Bhupender Yadav said, "It is unfortunate, especially tearing the ruling book, breaking the mic, standing on the tables, what kind of behavior is this, what kind of democracy is it? They should apologies for their misconduct in the house. It is a shameful act."
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