NEW DELHI: Hoping for an early solution to the long-running farmers protest on the national capital border, a key member of the panel appointed by the Supreme Court on controversial agricultural laws said Wednesday that the report submitted by the panel is “cent per cent” in favor of farmers and the apex Court hear the matter without any delay. The committee member acknowledged that the government and the Supreme Court should consider the question of law and order that may arise with the release of the report for which they need to spend some time, but “they cannot and should not get rid of it”.
Shetkari Sanghatana Chairman, Anil J Ghanwat, a committee member who wrote to the Chief Justice of India on September 1 urging him to publish the report, also said the committee did not support repealing the three laws, as demanded by the protesting farmers, but he and his organization certainly believed that there were “many defects” in the laws that must be addressed.
“As a member of the committee, particularly representing the farmers’ community, it pains me that the problem raised by the farmers has not been resolved and the incitement continues. I feel that the report was not given any attention by the esteemed Supreme Court,” Ghanwat wrote in his letter. He said the Supreme Court should issue the committee’s report to implement its recommendations for a “peaceful resolution of the impasse to the satisfaction of farmers as soon as possible”.
“There are many flaws in the new law. Our Shetkari Sanghatana also supports the new farm law. The main concern is that the minimum support price will be wiped out, but that is not true. The new farm law doesn’t talk about MSPs, but there’s a lot of fear about it, he said.
Farmers have been protesting at various borders of the national capital for more than nine months, demanding the repeal of three laws and also a legal guarantee for the MSP. As for the possibility of implementing the new laws in phases, Ghanwat said, “Ofcourse we can,” but declined to say if this was one of the committee’s recommendations. Asked if he planned to write a similar letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and related ministers in the government, he said, “No.
The Supreme Court has given us the task. We will notify the court only. There is no relationship with the government in this regard. Neither the government appoints us nor we can answer.” Ghanwat also condemned the lathicharge protesting farmers in Karnal, Haryana, saying it “shouldn’t have happened. Their needs may not be correct. But they have the right to express their opinions and protest.”