Rakesh Tikait welcomes SC order, but says farmer protests will continue

Farmers’ tractor rally on Republic Day will cause embarrassment to India Centre tells Supreme Court

Farmers say they won't leave until the government repeals the laws.

But farm leaders demand repeal of the laws, which they say are an attempt to erode a longstanding mechanism that ensures farmers a minimum support price for their crops.

The farmer unions, however, were not pleased and reiterated that they will not participate in the court-ordered committee process, charging that "all the members of this committee are pro-govt and had been justifying the laws of the government".

Ghanwat is a strong proponent of the liberation of the farm sector in the country.

The committee members are Bhupinder Singh Mann, National President of Bhartiya Kisan Union, All India Kisan Coordination Committee; Dr 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.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday appointed a committee on the three farm laws and stayed their implementation as it had indicated a day earlier.

The panel of three judges, including Chief Justice S.A. Bobde, expressed displeasure with the way the government had handled the issue.

Farmers' leaders say forcing small-time farmers to face the competition of corporate giants will lead to widespread hunger and poverty.

During the hearing, the top court sought the cooperation of the protesting farmers and made it clear that no power can prevent it from setting up a committee to resolve the impasse.

The centre has told the Supreme Court that "Khalistanis" had infiltrated the protests going at the Delhi border against the contentious farm laws.

The court said the proposed committee shall be provided a place as well as secretarial assistance at Delhi by the government and all the expenses for hold sittings at Delhi or anywhere else shall be borne by the Centre.

The SC also stayed the implementation of the farm laws until further orders.

"Though we appreciate the aforesaid submission of the Attorney General, this court can not be said to be completely powerless to grant stay of any executive action under a statutory enactment".

The court will continue to hear the matter next week and will later decide on the constitutional validity of the laws approved by the parliament past year. In another article in September, and in an interview in December, he suggested that the laws were beneficial for farmers, but the government lacked in their implementation.

Enacted in September past year, the three laws have been projected by the Centre as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove middlemen and allow farmers to sell their products anywhere in the country. "You file an affidavit by tomorrow". However, they welcomes the court's decision to put the three laws on hold. "We will continue our agitation", farmer leader Balbeer Singh Rajewal told the presser.

"This was a precautionary measure we took in view of yesterday's hearings where there was talk of a committee". They demanded that the new farms laws should be repealed. The protesters said the government "is trying to misguide the court on this too". He however said that the Centre did not discuss the laws enough with farmer bodies, before introducing them.

They also rejected the constitution of the committee because in their view the people on it were known for their support to the three Acts.

BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli said any order of the Supreme Court has to be complied with by all the concerned parties.



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