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Saturday, December 3, 2022

Lok Sabha passes the Essential Defence Services Bill amid Opposition Protests

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Lok Sabha passed Essential Defence Services Bill 2021 Tuesday amid protests from opposition members over a variety of issues. The proceedings were then adjourned for a 3rd time until 4 pm. The House reconvened at 2 p.m. Speaker Om Birla asked protesting members to return to their seats and promised to give them the opportunity to speak.

The opposition continued to protest the Pegasus snooping controversy as well as the controversial farm laws. The Essential Defence Services Bill 2021 was passed amid much noise.

The proceedings were then moved to 4 PM. The opposition members arrived at the well at 11 AM to protest the alleged snooping in the Pegasus software. They also demanded the repeal of the three farm laws that were enacted last year.

When questions relating to agriculture and farmers’ welfare came for discussion during the Question Hour, Birla asked the protesting members to raise farmers-related queries in the House. “I wanted you to question the minister with regard to farmers welfare, but you are engaging in sloganeering which is not acceptable… You don’t want to discuss farm issues…,” Birla said.

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However, members of opposition parties continued their sloganeering. After allowing the Question Hour for 40 minutes amid protests, Speaker Birla adjourned to the House for 20 minutes until 12 noon.

After the House was reassembled at noon, opposition protests continued. Senior MP Bhartruhari Madhtab, who was sitting in the chair, allowed papers on various ministries to be laid in to the House for the first time.

He also stated that the Speaker had rejected the adjournment motions of a few members. Mahtab appealed to opposition members to get to their seats to ensure that the House can continue to function normally as protests continued.

Mahtab, after ten minutes of business, adjourned Mahtab’s House until 2 pm. Since the Monsoon session began on July 19, House proceedings have been marred by protests by opposition members demanding discussion on the Pegasus spying issue and farm laws.

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