The AAP government will celebrate ‘Jashn-e-Sarso’ on October 2, escalating its opposition to GM mustard, which awaits clearence from Centre’s Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC).
The ruling AAP’s position on GM mustard assumes significance in light of the party’s aggressive bid to capture political space in Punjab which goes to polls next year.
Delhi minister Kapil Mishra, who has been given the interim charge of Food and Civil Supplies Department in the absence of Imran Hussain, announced the government’s plan.
“Views of the Delhi government, people, farmers and scientists will be collated during the event and sent to the Centre. We will also write letter to organisations that have opposed GM crop in the past like Swadesi Jagran Manch,” he said.
GEAC had constituted a sub-committee of experts to examine the biosafety data on GM mustard.
After the committee examined it, the report was placed on the Environment Ministry’s website inviting comments from stakeholders till October 5 before the biotech regulator takes a decision.
Mishra said the event, which is likely to be attended by farm organisations, environmentalists, state agriculture ministers and MPs, will celebrate the “age-old links” of mustard with Indian culture.
“The Delhi Government, given the various technical and other concerns pertaining to the safety and other issues related to this GM mustard, has already taken a stand against any potential approval for its commercial cultivation,” an official statement said.
Earlier, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi raising these concerns and urging him not to “compromise” farmers’ livelihoods and the country’s agriculture.