SC-appointed panel on farm laws should have been truly independent: Sharad Pawar
- Sharad Pawar said it is not surprising that the farmers do not have faith in the Supreme Court appointed committee because all four members had supported the farm laws at some point of time.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar has questioned the composition of the committee appointed by the Supreme Court to discuss the contentious farm laws with protesting farmers and the government and make recommendations to the court.
He welcomed the intervention in the issue by the apex court but said that the members of the committee have supported the three farm laws in the past and thus farmers do not have faith in the panel. He said that the committee should have been independent in the true sense.
The Supreme Court formed a four-member committee on Tuesday to discuss the legislation with both farmers and the government and make recommendations to the court on Tuesday. It comprises Dr Pramod Kumar Joshi (agricultural economist, director for South Asia, International Food Policy Research Institute), Ashok Gulati (agriculture economist and former chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices), Bhupinder Singh Mann (national president, Bhartiya Kisan Union and All India Kisan Coordination Committee), and Anil Ghanwat (president, Shetkari Sanghatana).
On Thursday, Maan opted out of the committee citing “farmers’ interests”.
“I welcome the intervention made by the SC but if you see the composition of the committee, all the members have supported the farm bills at different points of time in some or other way. This is the reason farmers do not have faith in the committee and believe that nothing will come out of the discussions with it and I share the same view,” Pawar told reporters in South Mumbai on Thursday.
"An independent committee in the true sense should have been appointed," the former agriculture minister said.
He also expressed discontent at the way the Centre has handled the farmers' agitation.
“It would have been better if the central government would have understood the seriousness of the issue," Pawar said.
Despite a severe cold wave, the farmers, many of them with their families have been protesting at Delhi’s borders for 50 days now seeking the repeal of the farm laws.
The farm unions have said they would not interact with the committee because all the members in it had previously indicated their support for the controversial laws. They have also insisted that the protest would continue.
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