Farm problem: All SC panel members favour farm legal guidelines with amendments, unions say will proceed agitation

Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, January 12

Moments after the Supreme Court formed a committee to resolve a debate over contentious farm laws, farm unions said they won’t be part of the panel that had “only government people”.

BKU’s Rakesh Tikait said the committee did not have people who could represent the point of view or agitating unions which would continue their protests until the farm laws are repealed.

The 41 agitating unions are currently discussing the SC order and will come out with a proper response, Tikait said.

A look at the credentials of the four committee members meanwhile reveals they are all in favour of the farm law implementation with some amendments.

Agricultural economist Ashok Gulati has been the most vocal supporter of deregulation of agriculture markets and has argued that the matter has been debated for years.

PK Joshi has written articles in past days regretting prolonged agitation by farmers and noting that the Centre had made all our efforts to accommodate genuine concerns of the protesters.

Joshi has also said that the agitators have been changing goalposts and had begun by seeking government assurance that the MSP won’t be discontinued. He has said the farmers later began seeking legal status for MSP and finally the repeal of laws altogether.

The two farm leaders on the panel—Bhupinder Singh Mann of the BKU and Anil Ghanwant of  Maharashtra based Shetkari Sangathan had in mid-December met Agriculture Minister NS Tomar and called for the implementation of the laws after bringing certain amendments to satisfy the protesters.

Agitation unions said their principal demand of farm law repeal cannot be addressed by a committee whose members favour the laws and are against the repeal.

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