BKU president Bhupinder Singh Mann recuses from SC panel to resolve deadlock over farm laws
Bhupinder Singh Mann, the Bharti Kisan Union national president and All India Kisan Coordination Committee chairman, on Thursday recused himself from the four-member committee constituted by the Supreme Court earlier this week to resolve the standoff between agitating farmers, predominantly from Punjab, and the Centre on the three farm laws.
“I am recusing myself from the committee and I will always stand with my farmers and Punjab,” Mann said in an unsigned statement tweeted by the BKU.
He was one of the four members and the only farmer leader to be appointed by the apex court to resolve the nearly two-month-long farmers’ agitation on Delhi’s borders.
Earlier the BKU tweeted, “Bhupinder Singh Mann, ex-MP and national president of BKU and chairman of the All India Kisan Coordination Committee has recused himself from the four-member committee constituted by the Hon’ble Supreme Court.”
It was followed by a statement attributed to Mann that read: “I am thankful to the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India for nominating me in the four-member committee to start dialogue with kisan unions on the three laws brought in by the central government. As a farmer myself and a union leader, in view of the prevailing sentiments and apprehensions among the farm unions and the public in general, I am ready to sacrifice any position offered or given to me so as to not compromise the interests of Punjab and farmers of the country.”
Mann’s son Gurpartap Singh Mann, who is a Punjab Public Service Commission member, confirmed that his father had written the letter but declined further comment.
The other members of the court-appointed committee are economists Ashok Gulati, Dr Pramod Kumar Joshi and farmer leader Anil Ghanwat. The committee has been asked by the Supreme Court to submit its report in two months.
The farmers have been protesting at borders of Delhi against the farm legislation enacted by Parliament in September last year. So far, eight rounds of talks have taken place between the government and farmers but have failed to resolve the deadlock.