Supreme Court Panel To ‘Try To Convince’ Farmers

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New Delhi: A day before scheduled next round of talks between Centre and the farmers’ unions opposing new farm laws, the Supreme Court-appointed panel of experts held its first meeting in the national capital on Tuesday.

The committee members said they would “try to convince” the protesting farmers while seeking views of the government and the other farmer organisations.

“Committee members will keep aside their personal ideology on the farm laws while preparing the report to be submitted to the Supreme Court. We have to listen to the agitating farmers and other farmers on what they want. Our duty is to listen to them and place it before the Supreme Court. We are not here to impose our ideology,” Shetkari Sanghatana president Anil Ghanwat was quoted as saying by The Indian Express. Ghanwat was addressing the press along with the two other members of the committee, agricultural economists Parmod Kumar Joshi and Ashok Gulati.

“I want to tell the agitating farmers that the laws in place in the country for the last 70 years were not in the interest of the farmers… 4.5 lakh farmers have committed suicide due to this. If the farmer is becoming poor, and burdened with debt, then some changes are needed. When the changes were taking place, this movement (against the laws) started. We too were not entirely in favour of the laws. We also wanted some changes, some corrections. If these (new laws) are repealed, then any party that comes to power in the next 50-60 years will not have the patience to touch these laws, and the farmer will keep dying,” Ghanwat said.

Ghanwat also talked of reforms. “The system that looted farmers has been supported by all parties that have come to power so far. They implemented it with great vigour, yet the farmer is dying. If this has to be stopped, then we need some changes, some developments, some reforms,” he said.

“The system that looted farmers has been supported by all parties that have come to power so far. They implemented it with great vigour, yet the farmer is dying. If this has to be stopped, then we need some changes, some developments, some reforms,” he said.

The committee, tasked by the Supreme Court to get the views of all stakeholders, will submit a report within two months.

“Today, we discussed how the committee will function. As per directions of the Honourable Supreme Court, we have to listen to the (views of) all farmer organisations — those opposing and those supporting the new laws. Not only farmer organisations, but we also have to speak to other stakeholders like farm produce exporters, farm produce traders, millers, ginners, dairy industry and poultry industry… what they have to say about these laws — whether they want some changes or not, or they want the laws repealed,” he said.

ALSO READ: Message To Modi: Farmers Prepared To Protest Till May 2024

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