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Bihar’s pride hurt: Ahead of polls, NDA leaders all out in support of RS Dy chairman over farm bills fracas

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Bihar’s ruling NDA seems to have sought to make the heckling of Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson Harivansh an election issue, saying opposition members’ “misconduct” towards him has hurt the pride of the poll-bound state and people will give them a befitting reply in the assembly election.

While Union Minister and BJP leader hit out at the Opposition leaders on Monday over their irresponsible conduct in the Rajya Sabha during the passage of the farm bills, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar and his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi have also come all out supporting Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson and JD(U) member Harivansh Narayan Singh.

The NDA, which comprises the Kumar-headed Janata Dal (United), the BJP and the Lok Janshakti Party in Bihar, has already been targeting the opposition Congress over actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, accusing the Maharashtra government of not carrying out a proper investigation into his alleged suicide.

On Monday, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, in a press conference, said the conduct of opposition leaders in the Upper House of Parliament on Sunday was “shameful” and “irresponsible”.

He was addressing a press conference with fellow Union ministers Prahlad Joshi and Piyush Goyal on the pandemonium in the Upper House on Sunday and Monday.

Opposition Rajya Sabha members despite being suspended did not leave the House on Monday which was an open violation of the rules, Prasad said.

“We had a clear majority in Rajya Sabha on farm bills,” he said, adding that 110 members supported the bills and a little over 70 opposed it.

On the issue of certain opposition members standing on the table in the Upper House, he said people of Bihar are pained at the treatment given in Rajya Sabha to its Deputy Chairman Harivansh on Sunday.

Citing Congress’ election manifesto and statements by chief ministers of the states ruled by it, he accused the opposition party of double standards on issues including contract farming and agriculture produce marketing committees.

Meanwhile, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi also hailed the passage of the two farm bills in Parliament and slammed Opposition for the unruly behaviour.

Nitish Kumar condemned the opposition MPs “misbehaviour” with Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh, who is also a JD(U) member.

Bihar Deputy Chief Minister and BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi said the people of the state will give a befitting reply to the opposition for its “misconduct” and “undignified” behaviour against Harivansh.

Harivansh is a respected person in Bihar and across the country and this incident has hurt the state’s pride, he said.

The Rajya Sabha deputy chairperson is a JD(U) MP from Bihar and hails from the Rajput community. The caste identify has been a strong poll factor in Bihar.

Two key farm bills, dubbed as the biggest reform in the agriculture sector, were passed by Rajya Sabha with a voice vote amid unprecedented unruly scenes by opposition members on Sunday.

Some opposition members, ignoring the Covid-19 protocol, charged towards the podium of Deputy Chairman Harivansh, flung the rule book at him and tore official papers. They yanked his microphone and heckled him for a division of votes on their motion to refer the legislation to a select committee.

(With PTI inputs)

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