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Farmers boycott SC-appointed panel

Won’t appear before ‘pro-Govt’ committee, will continue our protest: Unions

Disapproving the Supreme Court-appointed committee to break the deadlock over the new farm laws, the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha on Tuesday said that they will not appear before the panel as it is pro-Government and continue their agitation.

Addressing a Press conference at Singhu Border here, union leaders said they welcome apex court’s order to suspend the implementation of the farm laws but this is not a solution and the farmer unions have not been asking for it.

“The Government must repeal the laws and it must understand that farmers and people of India are opposed to the laws. The SC has formed a committee in its own wisdom and farmer unions have nothing much to say on this. Farmer unions reiterate that they will not participate in any such committee process. Further, one of the apprehensions about such a process got validated in the very constitution of the committee,” said farmer leader Darshan Pal Singh.

“It is clear that the court is being misguided by various forces even in its constitution of a committee. These are people who are known for their support to the three Acts and have actively advocated for the same. It is not out of place to remind that the farmer unions have rejected a committee proposal from the Government too. Their dialogue is basically with an elected Government about its policy directions and concomitant laws,” he said.

“The members of the SC-appointed committee are not dependable as they have been writing on how agri laws are pro-farmer. We will continue our agitation,” said farmer leader Balbeer Singh Rajewal.

“The peaceful Kisan Parade on the Republic Day will be held at Delhi and all over the country in large numbers. The Government is trying to misguide the court on this too,” said Ravinder Patiala, another farmers’ leader.

 “Farmers are doing indefinite sit-in strike at more than 20 places in Bihar. Farmers have held meetings at more than 80 places in Chhattisgarh and they are preparing to join the protest at Delhi borders,” said Darshan Pal Singh.

“In Gulbarga of Karnataka, people have staged a bike rally to protest against the three farm laws. Hundreds of farmers from Kerala are coming to Delhi borders. Big demonstrations were also held in Vijayawada and Hyderabad. In Rajasthan and Haryana, farmers are joining the agitation under the Jagrukta Pakhwada and various demonstrations are being held in many districts,” he said.

“Farmers are preparing to celebrate Lohri festival tomorrow on all the borders of Delhi, on which farmers are holding dharnas. This time the Lohri festival will be celebrated by burning copies of three Central farm laws. A large number of farmers from Uttar Pradesh are joining this movement at Ghazipur border. Street plays by Delhi artists were also presented on Tikri stage. The number of readers to the libraries is increasing day by day. Lawyers and artists joined the protests at Singhu Border and also provided them with some needy things,” said the farmers leaders.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the implementation of the controversial farm laws till further orders and set up a four-member committee to resolve the impasse between the Centre and the farmer unions protesting at Delhi’s borders over the legislations.

The four members of the committee are BKU president Bhupinder Singh Mann, Shetkeri Sangathana (Maharashtra) president Anil Ghanwat, South Asia Director for International Food Policy Research Institute Pramod Kumar Joshi, and agriculture economist Ashok Gulati.

Thousands of farmers, mostly from Haryana and Punjab, have been protesting at several border points of Delhi since November 28 last year, demanding a repeal of the three laws and a legal guarantee to the minimum support price (MSP) system for their crops.

Wednesday, 13 January 2021 | Staff Reporter | New Delhi

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