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Farmers’ big R-Day rally gets a ‘No’; SC panel starts consultation

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

New Delhi: The committee constituted by the Supreme Court, to find a solution to the deadlock after studying the three contentious agricultural laws and talking to the stakeholders, held a meeting with 10 farmers’ unions from 8 states across India on Thursday, hence, beginning its consultation process. The panel will have to submit its report within two months and until then the implementation of the farm laws will be stayed, which the apex court had ordered.

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Meanwhile, protesting farmers at Delhi borders on Thursday met Delhi Police officials to take permission for their scheduled tractor march on Delhi’s outer Ring Road.

To note, the farmers, majorly of Haryana and Punjab, started their protest against the three farm laws from November 26 which is still going stronger and bigger. The conflict between farmers and Centre over farm law came to impasse as Centre isn’t ready to repeal the laws whereas farmers want nothing but this anti-farmer law to be scrapped down. With such situation, several parallel developments have also taken place in the last few days.

1. Both the sides are still trying to find a middle ground with talks. The 10th round of meeting between Centre and farmers was held on Wednesday in which the government proposed to hold the implementation of the laws for 1.5 to 2 years. In the next meeting which is to take place on January 22, farmers’ union leaders will reply to the Centre after discussing among themselves.

2. The farmers unions have refused to appear before the SC-constituted committee as they said the members are supporters of the farmers’ laws. The government, however, said the panel it has proposed could proceed in parallel with the panel set up by the top court to examine the laws. The committee set up by top court is supposed to talk to as many farmers’ organisations as possible, including the non-protesting ones.

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3. On January 21, the panel virtually interacted with 10 farmers’ organisation from eight states; Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana and Tamil Nadu.

4. The SC appointed panel initially had four members but Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) president Bhupinder Singh Mannone on January 14 left the committee stating that he would give up any position to prevent farmers’ interests from being compromised. Now the three members in the panel are— president of Maharasthra-based Shetkari Sanghatana Anil Ghanwat and agri-economists Ashok Gulati and Pramod Kumar Joshi.

5. The committee issued a statement, which said, “The farmers’ unions participated in the discussion and gave their frank opinion including suggestions to improve the implementation of Acts.”

6. Agitating farmers for some time were planning a peaceful tractor rally on Republic Day on the Outer Ring Road. A petition against it was filed by Centre through Delhi police in the Supreme Court. Hearing the plea, the top court in its ruling said that it was Delhi Police’s decision whether they would allow the march or not.

7. Delhi Police, however, has not granted the permission to the tractor march on Outer Ring Road but told them to hold the rally on the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal Expressway, which the farmers didn’t accept.

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