The Government has no record of the deaths of protesting farmers during the agitation against the controversial farm laws, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar informed the Lok Sabha, even as the lower house of Parliament on Wednesday witnessed uproar over the issue.
The Congress and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) staged a walk-out from the Lok Sabha slamming Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government for its "apathy" towards the farmers, even as Tomar informed the House that the Government did not have any plan to provide financial assistance to the families of the protesters, who had died during the more-than-a-year-long agitation against the farm laws.
“The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has no record in the matter and hence, the question does not arise,” Tomar informed the Lok Sabha in a written reply to a question by Rajiv Ranjan Singh of Janata Dal (United), Sougata Ray of the Trinamool Congress, Abdul Khaleque of the Congress and other MPs on the government's plan to provide financial assistance to the families of the farmers, who had died while protesting against the three farm laws the Modi Government had enacted in September 2020.
The agitation by the farmers forced the government to repeal the farm laws, but the issue of death of the protesters triggered uproar in the Lok Sabha. Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury of the Congress interrupted the Question Hour and sought to raise the issue, stating that 750 farmers had died during the protest against the farm laws. Speaker Om Birla, however, did not allow him to speak and continued with the proceedings of the Question Hour. Chowdhury later led the Congress MPs to stage a walk-out. They were joined by T R Baalu of the DMK.
The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) MPs also came to the Well of the Lok Sabha, holding up placards, demanding a National Food Grain Procurement Policy and payment of Rs 25 lakh to the family of each “martyr farmer”. They also demanded that the Modi Government should bring a new Bill to give legal sanctity for the Minimum Support Prices.
“Your behaviour in the House is not right, it is wrong and the House cannot run like this... I had given you time to raise the issue,” the Lok Sabha Speaker told the agitating TRS MPs.
The TRS MPs continued their protest and the Speaker adjourned the Lok Sabha till noon.
Rakesh Tikait of the Bharatiya Kisan Union claimed that nearly 750 farmers had died during the protest against the new agricultural laws.
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