BJP issues whip to its MPs ahead of Rajya Sabha showdown over farm bills

The ruling BJP on Saturday issued a 3-line whip to all its Rajya Sabha members to be present on Sunday when the 3 contentious farm Bills are slated to be introduced in the Upper House. The farms Bills, already passed by the Lok Sabha, have become a bone of contention between the government and the opposition.

BJP issues whip to its MPs ahead of Rajya Sabha showdown over farm bills

New Delhi: The ruling BJP on Saturday issued a 3-line whip to all its Rajya Sabha members to be present on Sunday when the 3 contentious farm Bills are slated to be introduced in the Upper House. The farms Bills, already passed by the Lok Sabha, have become a bone of contention between the government and the opposition.

Apart from the Congress, long-time NDA ally Shiromani Akali Dal too objected to the Bills, calling these "anti-farmers", with SAD leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal resigning from the Union Cabinet.

However, the government pushed them aggressively, calling them pro-farmer and labelling those opposing them as batting for the middlemen. Now, the three farm Bills are set to face opposition in the Rajya Sabha and the government wants full attendance on the treasury benches.

The three Bills are the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020, Farmers Produce and Trade (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020.

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"Farmers are now given new independence in agriculture. Now, they will have more options and opportunities to sell their produce. It was necessary to bring these Bills to protect them from middlemen. These are farmers` shields," said Prime Minister Narendra Modi after inaugurating the Kosi Mega bridge on Friday.

BJP National President JP Nadda also said that the Bills give farmers the freedom to choose whether they wish to sell farm produce in the mandi or any other corner of the country.