“I will not eat anything today in solidarity with the protesting members,” Sharad Pawar, MP from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), told reporters.
To express solidarity with eight Rajya Sabha members suspended over chaos during a vote on controversial farm bills, veteran Maharashtra politician and NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday said he will observe one day fast. Meanwhile, opposition parties have boycotted the session of Rajya Sabha till the suspension of the MPs is revoked, and important changes are made in regards to MSP in the reform bills.
“I will not eat anything today in solidarity with the protesting members,” Sharad Pawar, MP from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) , told reporters.
“I have never seen bills being passed like this. They (the government) wanted to pass these bills soon. Members had questions regarding the bill. Prima facie it seems like they did not want a discussion… When members did not get a response they came into the well,” the NCP supremo said, coming in support of the opposition members who were protesting the bills.
“Members were expelled for expressing their opinion. The Deputy Chairman has not given priority to the rules,” the former union agriculture minister added.
He also accused the central government of pursuing an agenda against political opponents by serving them tax notices.
After Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and his son Aaditya Thackeray (Shiv Sena) and Supriya Sule (his daughter and NCP MP), Pawar said, he has also received notice.
“They love some people,” Mr Pawar took a jibe directed at the central government.
Earlier, the opposition parties boycotted the Rajya Sabha today in protest against the passing of the controversial agricultural bills in a haste. Congress MP Ghulam Nabi Azad said that till the suspension of 8 MPs is withdrawn and the concerns related to the Agriculture Bill are not addressed, the Boycott of Parliament by the opposition will continue.
In an elaborate speech, Azad commented on the drama that unfolded in the Rajya Sabha in the past two days. He also said that restrictions on time given to each MP to speak is at the centre of the problem. “The MPs’ anger mounted over several issues like bills not being sent to Standing Committees, Select Committees and less time given to speak. There was no coordination within the govt, with opposition and with the chair,” Azad said. He also asked why was there a haste to pass the bill without a vote by division on amendments and other nuances.