The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered a stay of the implementation of the three new farm laws hoping this will end the prolonged protests by the farmers and also constituted a four-member panel of agri experts to resolve the impasse between their leaders and the Centre. Soon after, the Congress claimed that all four members of the committee, appointed by the apex court to resolve the deadlock over farmers' agitation against three farm laws, were in favour of the legislations.
Senior leader P Chidambaram said the concern expressed by the Supreme Court over the farmers' protests is "justified and welcome in the situation created by a stubborn government". "The decision to form a committee to help find a solution is well-intentioned. However, the composition of the four-member committee is puzzling and sends contradictory signals," he said on Twitter.
The concern expressed by the Supreme Court over the farmers’ protests is justified and welcome in the situation created by a stubborn government.— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) January 12, 2021
The decision to form a Committee to help find a solution is well-intentioned.
However, the composition of the four member committee is puzzling and sends contradictory signals— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) January 12, 2021
The former Union Minister's son and Congress MP Karti Chidambaram also shared a media report which said that all 4 members of the Supreme Court-appointed committee support Centre’s 3 farm laws. Meanwhile, former Madhya Pradesh CM Digvijaya Singh asked whether "Is it a committee suggested by Honourable Supreme Court or by Modi Ji? Where is P Sainath as suggested by you, your lordship?"
The committee members are Bhupinder Singh Mann, National President of Bhartiya Kisan Union, All India Kisan Coordination Committee; Dr Pramod 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 top court said that representatives of all the farmers' bodies, whether they are holding a protest or not and whether they support or oppose the laws, shall participate in the deliberations of the committee and put forth their views.
The committee shall, upon hearing the government as well as the representatives of the farmers' bodies, and other stakeholders, submit a report before the court containing its recommendations within two months from the date of its first sitting, the court said. The first sitting shall be held within ten days from today(Tuesday), it added.
The court said the proposed committee shall be provided with 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. It has posted the matter for hearing after eight weeks.
Shortly after the apex court pronounced its order, the leaders of the farmer unions addressed a news conference at Singhu border in the national capital. "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," Balbeer Singh Rajewal said. However, the farmer leaders said they would attend the January 15 meeting with the government.
(With agency inputs)