The Business Advisory Committee (BAC) meeting of the Lok Sabha on Monday not only saw intense discussion on the question of having a debate along with the bill to repeal the farm laws but also witnessed some sharp exchanges between Trinamool Congress member Kalyan Banerjee and BJP member Jagdambika Pal.
Half an hour before Lok Sabha proceedings for the day began, the BAC — the parliamentary panel that allots time for discussing various bills — met at Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla’s office.
While the BAC reached a consensus to allocate time for discussion on the ordinances that allow the government to extend the tenures of Enforcement Directorate chief and the CBI Director, sources told The Hindu that Opposition was divided over the bill to repeal to three farm laws.
While Congress’ Kodikunnil Suresh, DMK’ T.R. Baalu and Mr. Banerjee of Trinamool were firm on having a debate before the farm laws were passed, YSR Congress, Telangana Rashtra Samithi and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) didn't insist on a debate after Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi told the BAC members that there was “no precedent” of having a debate while repealing a law.
BJD leader Pinaki Misra is said to have argued that farmers were looking towards the Parliament for a solution and if the government wanted to repeal without a debate, they should be allowed to do so.
A structured debate on agrarian issues can take place later, Mr. Misra is learnt to have said.
Mr. Pal, the BJP MP from Uttar Pradesh, then spoke and lauded the Prime Minister for his decision to rollback the farm laws in the interest of the farmers.
At this point, when the Trinamool MP passed a remark against Mr. Pal, the atmosphere got very tense as the BJP took strong objection. The sharp exchange between the two prompted other MPs to intervene and pacify the agitated members.
Expressing his displeasure over such behaviour, Mr. Birla then ended the meeting.
After the Lok Sabha passed the bill without any discussion, Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury along with Mr. Baalu and Mr. Suresh again met the Speaker and registered their protest for not allowing the Opposition to have its say during the passage of The Farm Laws Repeal Bill.