Farmers’ protest: RSP MP offers privilege discover towards Tomar

New Delhi, February 3

RSP MP NK Premachandran on Wednesday submitted a privilege notice against Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar for proposing to the protesting farmers amendments in the three contentious agricultural laws passed by Parliament.

The Centre has held 11 rounds of talks with the protesting farmers and even proposed to put the three laws on hold for 18 months besides suggesting that it is ready for amendments in the legislations enacted in September last year.

“…the government proposed amendments to the aforesaid bill to the farmers’ organisations which were in fact rejected by the House at the instance of the government. This action of the government to propose amendments which were rejected by the house at their instance amounts to contempt of the house,” Premachandran said in the notice addressed to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla.

He submitted the notice to the Lok Sabha secretariat this morning, a source told PTI.

The MP said the demand of the opposition to scrutinise the provisions of the bill by the standing committee or select committee was not considered by the government.

Subsequent to the enactment of law, the mover of the bill, the Agriculture Minister, openly said the government is ready and willing to discuss each and every provision of the bill clause by clause with the farmers and ready for required amendments, the Opposition MP asserted.

Premachandran, whose party RSP is part of the Congress-led UPA, said when the matter was considered by the Supreme Court, the government had agreed for appointment of a Committee to scrutinise the provisions of law enacted by the Parliament which further complicated the issue.

“The scrutiny of the Bill on merit is the privilege of the Parliament under the scheme of the constitution and such right cannot be passed over to agency even through the intervention of the judiciary,” he said.

Premachandran, a five-time MP, said that the court can intervene only on two grounds—constitutional validity of the bill passed by Parliament and legislative competence of Parliament.

Therefore, he said, the scrutiny of the bill on merit by another agency than Parliament is also contempt of the House. Tens of thousands of farmers have been camping on the outskirts of Delhi for 70 days in protest against the three laws enacted in September last year.

In talks with the protesting farmer leaders, the Centre, represented by Agriculture Minister Tomar, and his cabinet colleagues Piyush Goyal and Som Parkash, had proposed to suspend for one-and-a-half years the three contentious farm laws that have triggered the protracted protests.

The ministers had also repeatedly told the farmer unions that they would be open for amendments. The farmers’ unions had rejected all proposals of the Centre and were adamant on their demand for the repeal of the three farm laws.

The farmers believe that the new laws undermine their livelihood and open the path for the corporate sector to dominate agriculture.

The government, on the other hand, maintains that the new laws will give farmers more options on selling their produce, lead to better pricing, and free them from unfair monopolies. PTI

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