Offer to put farm laws on hold intact: Modi

| | New Delhi
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Offer to put farm laws on hold intact: Modi

Sunday, 31 January 2021 | PNS | New Delhi

Offer to put farm laws on hold intact: Modi

Budget Session may see heated discussions on farm laws, military face-off 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday affirmed that his Government’s proposal to suspend implementation of the farm laws for 18 months still stands as negotiations with agitating farmers to resolve the deadlock continue.

In the all-party meet that he chaired before the presentation of the Union Finance Budget on Monday, the Prime Minister reiterated Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar’s comment that “he is a phone call away for the talks.”

Even as the Government has offered to put the new laws in abeyance for 18 months, a dominant section of protesting farmers and Opposition parties are adamant on their repeal.

The nine rounds of talks have failed to provide a breakthrough in the ongoing 56-days farmers’ protest on the outskirts of Delhi.

The Budget Session may have heated discussion on farm laws, military face-off with China on the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh and economic situation post-Covid-19.

On the “unfortunate violence” in the national Capital on January 26, Modi was quoted by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi that “law will take its own course”.

As the Government held out the offer, a number of Opposition parties demanded more discussion on the laws.

Joshi also said the Government is ready for discussions on a range of issues that the Opposition wants. He said discussion will be taken up in the second half of the Budget Session.

“During the all-party meet, PM Narendra Modi assured that GoI (Government of India) is approaching the farmers’ issue with an open mind. The PM said GoI’s stand is same as it was on January 22 - the proposal by the Agriculture Minister still stands,” the Parliamentary Minister said after the meeting.

“He (the Prime Minister) reiterated what (Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh) Tomarji said — that he (the Agriculture Minister) is a phone call away for talks,” Joshi added.

The meeting took place a day after 20 Opposition parties underlined their support of the protesting farmers — by boycotting the President’s address to a joint sitting of Parliament — and included a discussion on the Republic Day violence and, in particular, the incident at the Red Fort.

Opposition parties condemned the violence but also demanded an investigation into how “outside elements” had infiltrated the farmers’ movement.

Joshi said the Prime Minister reaffirmed the importance of smooth functioning of Parliament and comprehensive debates on the floor of the House.

He added that “frequent disruptions mean smaller parties suffer as they can’t express themselves adequately.”

Modi said that it is for the bigger parties to ensure Parliament functions smoothly, there are no disruptions and thus, the smaller parties are able to voice their views in Parliament.

He highlighted the role India can play to further global good in a many sectors and referred to the skills and prowess of “our people, which can be a force multiplier to global prosperity,” said Joshi.

According to sources, most of the floor leaders agreed that Parliament must be allowed to function and the issues related to the farm agitation can be taken up during the discussions on the President’s address and during the discussion on the Budget.

BJD’s Pinaki Misra who was present for the meeting said, Odisha Chief Minister and BJD president, Naveen Patnaik, has specifically requested the Union Government to have the women’s reservation Bill passed in this Budget Session.

The YSR Congress and the TRS, too, backed Odisha CM’s demand for the passage of women’s reservation Bill in the forthcoming session. The Bill was earlier passed in Rajya Sabha in 2010.with China on LAC in Ladakh and economic situation post-Covid-19

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