New Delhi: Amid huge uproar by politicians and farmers across the country, President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday signed the three contentious farm bills passed by the Union government last week in a dramatic Parliament session. Also Read - Gurjeet Singh Aujla, TN Prathapan and Seven Other Lok Sabha MPs Likely To Be Suspended For Throwing Papers At Chair
The Opposition had staged a protest and requested the President to not sign the bills, which would have sent them back to the Houses for reconsideration. The Opposition had also alleged that the bills, that were passed by voice vote, were in violation of House rules. Also Read - Breaking News Highlights: Gujarat Govt Reduces Night Curfew Timing by 1 Hour
Notably, the BJP lost its oldest ally – the Akalis – over the passage of the three farm ordinances. Earlier today, Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal called for opposition parties to unite and fight for the farmers as the new legislation can have “disastrous implications” on the country’s economy. Also Read - Breaking News Highlights: Mamata to Meet Sonia Gandhi, Arvind Kejriwal Tomorrow
Farmers across the country have been apprehensive that the new bills will completely negate the minimum support price (MSP) they have been demanding from the government for months, as the new legislation does not specify any method of determining the “guaranteed price” farmers will get.
The agitation even led to a ‘Bharat Bandh’ across states including Punjab and Haryana, that are considered the grain bowls of India, along with West Bengal, Bihar, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh witnessing road and rail blockades.
The three bills – the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill – were passed by Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha by voice vote. The bills will replace the existing ordinances passed by the government in June this year.