Amid a heated debate in the Rajya Sabha against crucial farm bills, which cleared the parliament this afternoon, Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien attempted to tear the rule book and snatch off Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan’s microphone. He rushed to the well of the house to register his protest against the centre. “This is brutal murder of the parliamentary democratic system,” the Trinamool Congress MP said amid the high drama, which led to a 10-minute adjournment of the house.
The chaos unfolded in the upper house of the parliament soon after the Trinamool Congress MP’s remarks on the controversial bills in the parliament. Later, while talking to NDTV, he said: “I did not tear the rule book. You have seen the footage… I will resign as an MP. Government didn’t have numbers.. yet they broke rules to get the bills cleared. We have moved a notice to pass a resolution against the Deputy Chairman.”
The 59-year-old Rajya Sabha MP had tweeted an hour before the ruckus in Rajya Sabha: “PM said Centre would double farmer income by 2022. At current rates, not before 2028. Your credibility is low. MSP is only 1 of 4 issues. We are opposing Farm Bills also on state’s rights, PDS, procurement.”
In the video, which he shared in the tweet, he is heard telling the house: “How qualified am I to speak on these bills. I belong to a party called the Trinamool Congress. Let me take you back to the year 2006. The chairperson of this party (Mamata Banerjee), for the sake of farmers, had put her life at risk during a 26-day hunger strike. She was fighting for the rights of farmers.”
“Seven years ago, 4th of September, 2013, Land Acquisition Bills, we got only 13 votes… but we opposed the bill to uphold the rights of farmers. In 2016, the Supreme Court said the land had to be given back. But then they would say it’s history. Last six years, Krishi Karman award went to Bengal. You compare the central government scheme to state scheme, Bengal scheme is better,” he is heard saying.
The Trinamool MP then latched on to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remark on Friday. “Yesterday, PM Modi said – ‘Opposition is trying to mislead the farmers’. I want to ask- What credibility do you have to make the statement? You promised to double farmer incomes by 2022. At current rates, farmer incomes will not be doubled before 2028. “
“In Bengal, from Rs 90,000 in 2011, farmer income has got doubled, actually trebled to Rs 2,90,000. the Minimum Support Price is one of the four concerns about farm bills. We are opposing four prime concerns, which include state’s rights, PDS, procurement. Don’t bring down the debate to MSP only,” he said.
“Who are they (BJP) trying to fool. For the consumers – what is the protection against hoarding, price rise, profiteering? This is now beyond the farmers. These bills have to be discussed and debated. You (BJP) have the right to have your way. We have the right to keep you on track,” the Trinamool MP had said earlier in the day.
Later, he tweeted a video statement after the bills were passed. “They cheated. They broke every rule in parliament. It was a historic day in the worst sense of the word. They cut RSTV feed so the country couldn’t see. They censored RSTV. Don’t spread propaganda. We have evidence,” he says in the clip.
Hitting back at Derek O’Brien, BJP’s Rupa Ganguly this afternoon said: “There is not a single word against the farmers. People of Bengal will take revenge. Please read the text of the bill. There is nothing against farmers. Democracy is being murdered in West Bengal were two people are being killed every day.”