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If you’re concerned about farmers, allow Lok Sabha to function: Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar to Oppn

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Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Tuesday took a swipe at the protesting Opposition members in Lok Sabha, saying if they are concerned about farmers, then they should allow the House to function. He made the remarks while replying to a supplementary query related to an insurance scheme for farmers during the Question Hour as the Opposition members continued their sloganeering on various issues, including the Pegasus snooping allegations and the new farm laws.

There are around 15 questions related to farmers. If the Opposition members are really concerned about the farmers, then they should listen to what the government has to say, Tomar said.

“Disruptions are lowering the decorum of the House,” he added.

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The Opposition, as well as various farmers’ unions, have been protesting against the three farm laws — the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

The farmers say these laws will remove the safety net of minimum support price and leave them at the mercy of big corporates. The government, however, maintains that these laws are pro-farmer.

The Opposition has also been demanding a discussion over Pegasus snooping allegations.

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Last week, an international media consortium reported that over 300 verified mobile phone numbers, including those of two ministers, over 40 journalists, three opposition leaders besides scores of businesspersons and activists in India, could have been targeted for snooping through the Pegasus spyware of the Israeli firm NSO Group, which only sells the hacking software to “vetted” governments and government agencies.

The government has been denying all opposition allegations in the matter.

Both Houses of Parliament have transacted little business since the Monsoon session began on July 19 as opposition parties have forced adjournments with their protests.

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