The Opposition Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance) legislators in Bihar walked out of the Assembly on Tuesday after Speaker Vijay Kumar Sinha rejected their notice for an adjournment motion on the farmers’ issues.
The members had requested the Speaker to admit the motion as it was related to the farmers’ demand for MSP and an extension of the date for paddy procurement in the State. They walked out when the Speaker refused to allow the discussion.
The Opposition has been protesting against the new farm laws since the month-long budget session was convened on February 19.
Leader of the Opposition Tejashwi Yadav alleged that farmers in Bihar had become vulnerable after the State government abolished the Agricultural Produce Market Committee Act in 2006. He also demanded that the government extend paddy procurement date till March 31.
Later, participating in a debate on the motion of thanks on the Governor’s address, Mr. Yadav slammed the State government, alleging that incidents of crime had doubled in Bihar under the NDA regime. He also took a jibe at Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, saying he had called BJP ‘Badka Jhoota Party’ (party of big liars) in 2015, but now had become a “stepney” of the same party.
Later, Mr. Kumar rebutted the Opposition leader’s allegation and urged him to “have patience to hear out his response, which will eventually benefit you in later days”. Mr. Kumar began by saying that when he [Mr. Kumar] was a Minister in the Central government, he [Mr. Yadav] was a kid in his lap. “Ever since the APMC was scrapped in 2006 by my government, paddy procurement has gone up through Primary Agriculture Co-operative Societies and Vyapar Mandals [business communities] and farmers do not face any problem in the State today… Farmers had been demanding two weeks more for procurement of paddy, but our government decided to extend it for 21 days,” he said.
Mr. Kumar also presented government data on crime, health, electricity, road and other issues raised by Mr. Yadav.