India passes farm bills amid uproar by opposition in parliament

India’s parliament has passed new bills the government says will make it easier for farmers to sell their produce directly to big buyers, despite growing protest from opposition parties and a longtime ally of the governing party.

Opposition legislators raised slogans, tore documents and tried to grab the speaker’s microphone in the upper house of India’s parliament before two controversial bills were passed by a voice vote on Sunday.

“The passage of both the bills in parliament is indeed a landmark day for Indian agriculture,” one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s senior cabinet ministers, Rajnath Singh, said on Twitter.

But India’s main opposition Congress party criticised the government over the bills, calling them “black law” and “pro-corporate”.

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