'Regressive': SC panel member slams PM Modi's farm laws U-turn
Anil Ghanwat, a member of the Supreme Court-appointed panel on farm laws, on Friday slammed the central government's decision to repeal the three controversial farm laws. He called the move political saying it will neither end the farmers' agitation nor help the PM's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the upcoming Assembly elections. Here are more details on this.
Why does this story matter?
Ghanwat's statement reiterates a claim made by politicians and pundits that the decision has been taken to improve the BJP's prospects in the elections. He noted the government did not budge when the "agitation was at its peak." "But now they have gone down to their knees," he said. Elections are due to be held in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, and other states in 2022.
'Modi chose politics over farmers' betterment'
"This is the most regressive step by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he chose politics over farmers' betterment," Ghanwat told news agency PTI. "Our panel had submitted several corrections and solutions over the three farm laws, but instead of using it to solve the impasse, Modi and BJP chose to backtrack. They just want to win elections and nothing else," he said.
Ghanwat said the report will be made public
"The committee has spent three months preparing the report. This should not go into the dustbin...I will make it public," Ghanwat said. He added the SC-formed panel will meet on Monday to discuss the fate of the report.
Panel had submitted report in March
The Supreme Court had, in January, formed the expert committee after talks between farmers and the government failed. Ashok Gulati and Pramod Joshi are the other two members of the panel. Farmers' unions, however, had accused the members of being "pro-government," refusing to hold discussions with them. The committee had submitted its report to the top court on March 19.
PM Modi addressed the nation earlier today
On Friday, the occasion of Sikh festival Gurpurab, PM Modi said in an unscheduled address the farm laws will be withdrawn. "We haven't been able to explain to our farmers. This is not a time to blame anyone. I want to tell you that we have taken the farm laws back." The laws will be repealed in the upcoming Winter Session of the Parliament.
Why were the farmers protesting?
Thousands of farmers have been camping at Delhi's borders to protest the laws. They said the laws would leave them at the mercy of corporates and deprive them of their minimum assured earnings. The Centre, on the other hand, said the laws were meant for their benefit. Farmers' leader Rakesh Tikait said the agitation will continue until the laws are officially scrapped in Parliament.