'In view of apprehensions': Member opts out of Supreme Court-appointed panel on farm laws
Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) president Bhupinder Singh Mann, who was one of the four members of the Supreme Court-appointed committee on farm laws, on Thursday said he is recusing himself from the panel.
Mann said he is thankful to the apex court for nominating him on the committee but would sacrifice any position offered to him so as not to compromise the interests of farmers.
"In view of the prevailing sentiments and apprehensions amongst 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 said in a statement published on BKU's Twitter handle.
"I am recusing myself from the Committee and I will always stand with my farmers and Punjab," Mann further said in the statement.
Mann is a former Rajya Sabha member and a farmer leader who currently chairs the All India Kisan Coordination Committee (AIKCC), a platform of farmers that is not part of the protests.
This comes amid the controversy regarding Mann's nomination to the panel which has been rejected by the farmers holding demonstrations against the three farm laws at Delhi borders. Farmers have said that they will not hold any talks with the committee as all four members are pro-government.
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.
Tens of thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab and Haryana, are protesting at various borders of Delhi against the farm legislation enacted by the 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. Both sides will now meet on January 15 to discuss the matter.
Farmers have been demanding a complete withdrawal of the laws which has been refused by the government. Instead, it has offered to make amendments.
Farmers are also demanding a legal guarantee on the minimum support price (MSP) system for the procurement of their crops.
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