Bharatiya Janata Party leader Jyotiraditya Scindia and Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Thursday shared a light moment in the Rajya Sabha amid heated debate over the farm laws. First to speak was Scindia who attacked the Congress party over its 'double standards' on the farm laws. Speaking on the Motion of Thanks to the President's address to the joint sitting of Parliament, Scindia defended the government as he lashed out at the opposition parties and questioned them for changing their stance on agricultural reforms.
Scindia, who is credited for the BJP's return to power in Madhya Pradesh in March last year, attacked the Congress for changing its stand on the three farm reforms, saying that the party has favoured similar laws in its manifesto for the 2019 Lok Sabha election.
"Yeh Juban badalne ki aadat badalni hogi. Chat bhi mera pat bhi mera kab tak chalega (Opposition parties will have to change the habit of going back on words. Heads I win, tails you lose. For how long this will go on)," Scindia said. He said NCP chief Sharad Pawar, who was Agriculture minister in the erstwhile UPA government, had written to the chief ministers for reform in farm trade and the need for private sector participation in the agriculture sector.
Scindia, who quit the Congress in March 2020 to join the BJP, reeled out data to highlight that the procurement operation at the MSP has grown significantly under the NDA regime. The MSP is being fixed at least 1.5 times of the production cost. He said the Centre is providing Rs 6,000 per year to farmers under the PM-KISAN scheme and claims worth Rs 90,000 crore have been cleared under the crop insurance scheme, besides setting up of Rs 1 lakh crore agri-infrastructure fund to create storage capacities and reduce post-harvest losses.
"The NDA government was committed to farmer welfare, it is committed to farmer welfare and will remain committed to farmer welfare," Scindia said and condemned the disrespect to the national flag and violence at the Red Fort during the farmers' tractor rally.
Vice President and Chairman of the House, M Venkaiah Naidu added some more wit while calling Singh as the next speaker. A smiling Naidu insisted it was just a coincidence and that he has not changed the line up of the speakers.
Speaking right after Scindia, Congress veteran Digvijaya Singh started by taking a swipe at him. "Scindia ji I congratulate you. The way you earlier used to present the UPA's point of view forcefully in the house, today you have done an excellent job of expressing the BJP's view. Wah Maharaj-ji wah!" he said.
Scindia then replied to Singh with a smile and said "it is all thanks to your blessings."
"My blessings were always with you. And will always be with you, no matter which party you join," Singh said in return.
The Upper House then saw MPs erupting in laughter.