The opposition parties’ decision to make use of the floor of the Lok Sabha to express their solidarity with the farmers’ agitation at the nearby Jantar Mantar on Thursday not only added fire to their ongoing protests over the Pegasus issue but shut down the Lok Sabha after four back to back adjournments.

Given the larger social and electoral potential of the farmers’ issue, especially when farmers’ unions are trying to revive it by staging a protest just a kilometre away from Parliament House, almost all major opposition MPs — with Congress and Akali Dal rival MPs from poll-bound Punjab displaying extra aggression — staged protests, raised slogans and waved placards in the Well of the Lok Sabha, demanding that the government should start a dialogue with the farmers and scrap the contentious farm laws. For the record, some opposition MPs also gave a notice over the Pegasus issue and raised slogans in the House to showcase their ‘jugalbadi’ planks against the government.

Incidentally, Punjab CM Amarinder Singh’s wife and Congress MP Preneet Kaur made it a point to be active in the Congress show of solidarity with the agitating farmers. The persistent protests forced the Lok Sabha to adjourn four times in a row, first soon after the House assembled at 11 am, then at 12 noon, followed by at 2 pm and finally at 4 pm for the day.


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