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Farmers reiterate they won’t accept any committee formed by Supreme Court on farm laws, say its members are pro-govt

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The farmers protesting against the three central farm laws said on Tuesday that they won’t accept any committee formed by the Supreme Court to end the impasse between the government and the protesters. Addressing a briefing on Tuesday evening, the members of the farmer unions said that the members of the committee are pro-government.

“We’d issued a press note last night stating that we won’t accept any committee formed by Supreme Court for mediation. We were confident that Centre will get a committee formed through Supreme Court to take the burden off their shoulders,” said Darshan Pal, the president of the Krantikari Kisan Union, one of the farmer bodies participating in the agitation.

“We had said yesterday itself that we won’t appear before any such committee. Our agitation will go on as usual. All the members of this Committee are pro-government and had been justifying the laws of the government,” said Balbir Singh Rajewal, a member of the Bhartiya Kisan Union.

The farmers are adamant that the government must repeal the three laws passed by Parliament in September last year.

The Supreme Court, while hearing a petition on the laws, stayed the implementation of three new farm laws till further orders and decided to set up a four- member committee to resolve the impasse over them between the Centre and farmers’ unions protesting at Delhi borders.

The names to be included in this committee are: Harsimran Mann of Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU), Dr Pramod Kumar Joshi, agriculture economist Ashok Gulati and Anil Ghanwat of the Shetkari Sanghatana, a Maharashtra-based farm union.

Out of these members, Gulati is the former chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP), the advisory body of the Government of India on food supplies and pricing policies. The agricultural economist was honoured with the Padma Shri by the President of India in 2015.

Dr Joshi is a leading name in the field of agriculture research. He has served as the director of the National Academy of Agricultural Research Management, Hyderabad, and the director of the National Centre for Agricultural Economics and Policy Research, New Delhi.

Anil Ghanwat is the president of the Shetkari Sanghatana which has been backing the government in the entire agitation by farmers. Mann, meanwhile, if a leader of the farmer union Bhartiya Kisan Union.

Ghanwat said on Tuesday that the new farm laws partially implement what his outfit has been demanding for decades. His attempt will be to improve them, said Ghanwat.

“We are not lauding the Centre’s three acts that are described as giving freedom to farmers. It was the Shetkari Sanghatana headed by late Sharad Joshi which had pressed for these changes first,” Ghanwat, whose organization has been accused of backing the Centre on the issue despite representing farmers, said.

“Now the current government has tried to implement them to some extent. My role in the committee will be to protect the interest of farmers and improve these laws,” he said.

Farmers reiterate they won't accept any committee formed by Supreme Court on farm laws, say its members are pro-govt

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