Sharad Pawar raises doubts on SC committee to resolve the farm issues

Supreme Court-Sharad Pawar

Mumbai : It seems that the NCP supremo Sharad Pawar is also not happy with the committee formed by the top court of the country to resolve the impasse over the new agriculture bills. The Supreme Court had stayed the implementation of the new farm laws on Tuesday and set up a four-member committee to begin a dialogue with the farmers and the government and suggest a solution to the 50-day protest continuing on the borders of the national capital.

Talking to media persons, the former union agriculture minister Pawar said the agitating farmers do not have faith in the panel as these members were said to have supported the new farm laws of the Centre in the past. “It seems that the farmers will not come out of discussions with the committee. And I agree with them. It would have been better if independent — in a true sense independent — persons had been appointed in the committee,” the NCP boss said.

Surprisingly, on Tuesday, Pawar had welcomed the Apex Court’s decision to stay the implementation of the laws and set up a committee. The four-member committee comprised Bhupinder Singh Mann, National President of Bhartiya Kisan Union, All India Kisan Coordination Committee; Parmod Kumar Joshi, Director for South Asia, International Food Policy Research Institute; Ashok Gulati, agricultural economist and former chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices, and Anil Ghanwat, President of Shetkari Sanghatana.

Meanwhile, Bhartiya Kisan Union’s national president Bhupinder Singh Mann has stepped down from the committee to look into the Centre’s contentious farm laws, saying he did not wish to “compromise farmers’ interests”. His decision came a day ahead of the next round of talks between the government and the farmers. The matter will now go back to the court for further orders.

Mann said, “As a farmer myself and a Union leader, in view of the prevailing sentiments and apprehensions amongst farm unions and the public in general, I am ready to sacrifice any position offered or given to me so as not to compromise the interests of Punjab and farmers of the country.” Mann, who heads his own faction of the BKU, was part of the four-member committee formed by the top court on Tuesday to resolve the impasse between the Centre and the farmer unions agitating at Delhi borders.

Farmers’ groups, however, had rejected the committee, saying their members were already in favour of farm laws and accused the government of engineering the issue.