Mumbai, Jan 12 (IANS) Political and farmer leaders in Maharashtra have welcomed the Supreme Court verdict on Tuesday staying the three farm laws, but many have raised doubts over the expert committee suggested by the top court to examine the farmers’ concerns.
In a major decision, the Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the implementation of all the three farm laws and also formed a committee comprising mostly agriculturists to hear the grievances of the farmers’ unions against the Central laws.
The ruling Shiv Sena’s farmer leader Kishore Tiwari supported the stay on the implementation of the three farm laws but slammed the appointment of the committee which will look into the farmers’ issues.
“The expert committee members appointed by the Chief Justice of India are puppets of the WTO and BJP who are notorious as blind advocates of market-economy and globalisation. Hence, CJI S.A. Bobde is working for the Prime Minister’s Office. It’s a hoax and betrayal of the agrarian community,” Tiwari said.
The President of Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swavalamban Mission who has been accorded the status of Minister of State, Tiwari said that the farmers’ original demand of repealing the three laws has not changed and they will continue to agitate.
Nevertheless, the VNSSM head expressed cautious optimism that since “the CJI knows the issues of the farmers, he may show the mirror” to the BJP government and safeguard the interests of the peasantry.
Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar said that it was a welcome decision by the apex court to put on hold the implementation of the three farm laws and set up a four-member panel to resolve the issues.
“It’s a big relief for the farmers and I hope that a concrete dialogue between the Central government and the farmers will be initiated now, keeping the farmers’ interests and wellbeing in mind,” Pawar said.
NCP national spokesperson Nawab Malik said that a ray of hope could be seen following the SC move to give justice to the farmers, but the Centre must drop its adamant attitude in the matter.
“It’s still not too late. The Centre should forthwith repeal the three farm laws and immediately start the framework for enacting new laws if it deems fit, but after consulting the farmers and the Opposition parties on all the issues and concerns raised by the farmers at the earliest,” Malik said.
Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana President Raju Shetti said that on Monday, when the SC had pulled up the government, there was an impression that finally the farmers’ grievances may be redressed amicably.
“However, today it has turned out to be a fraud and a pre-written script. The CJI has stayed the three farm laws which the farmers never asked, and has not said anything on MSP. Plus, the committee is of people who are openly supporting the three laws, so how will the farmers’ issues be resolved,” Shetti asked.
He said the farmers have not changed their stance on total repeal of the three farm laws, but without consulting them, the SC has stayed the implementation of the farm laws and even appointed a committee of those favouring the government, which would try to bulldoze the farmers later.
The Maharashtra Congress has reiterated its national stand that instead of confusing and misguiding the agitating farmer leaders in different directions, the government must accept their main demand to withdraw the three farm laws.