Indian lawmakers approved 2 controversial farming bills on Sunday that the government claims will boost growth in the farming sector, but opposition parties and long-time ally of the ruling party called “anti-farmer.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi fiercely supported the bills saying, the new laws will remove middlemen from agriculture trade, allowing farmers to easily sell their produce to institutional buyers and large retailers.
On Thursday, Harsimrat Kaur, Minister of Food Processing, from a party believed to be one of the Modi government’s most trusted allies, resigned in protest of the proposed bills.
Opposition parties have claimed farmers’ bargaining power will be diminished by allowing retailers to have tighter control over them calling the new legislation “black law” and “pro-corporate.”
Furthermore, on Sunday some opposition lawmakers shouted slogans, tore documents and tried to grab the speaker’s microphone in India’s parliament before the two of three bills were passed.
The third farming bill was unable to be heard after the upper house adjourned for the day due to the chaotic scenes.
Several farmers organizations have held street protests in Punjab and Haryana, opposing the bills.