Farmers’ Protest: Biggest challenge is to convince agitating farmers for talks, says SC-appointed committee member

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New Delhi | January 19, 2021 6:17 PM

The 10th round of talks between the government and the agitating farmers will be held tomorrow at Vigyan Bhawan.

farmers protestA three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde had expressed concern over the Centre's handling of the farmers' protest. (Photo: Express)

With the farmers’ protest entering its 55th day, the committee appointed by the Supreme Court met today for the first time to discuss the ways to end the deadlock. The committee has decided to hold its first meeting with farmers on the 21st of this month.

The three-member SC-appointed committee consists of Ashok Gulati, Agriculture Economist, Dr Pramod Kumar Joshi, agri-scientist and Anil Ghanwat, president of Shetkari Sangathana. The fourth member, Bhupinder Singh Mann, who is the president of Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU), had earlier recused himself from the panel.

After the meeting, Anil Ghanwat said that a physical meeting will be held on January 21 with those organisations who want to meet then panel members in person and video conferencing will be held with those who can’t come. He added that even if the government wants to come and speak with the committee, they welcome it and will hear the government too. However, Ghanwat added that the biggest challenge for the committee is to convince the agitating farmers to come for talks.

Rakesh Tikait, the spokesperson of Bharatiya Kisan Union, has informed that the farmer unions won’t attend today’s meeting of the SC-appointed committee. He said that the agitating farmers have not approached the apex court.

Earlier, a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde had expressed concern over the Centre’s handling of the farmers’ protest. The apex court had put the new laws on hold and had formed a committee to end the logjam. On the other hand, the tenth round of meeting between the government and the farmer unions will be held tomorrow. In the previous negotiations, both the Centre and farmers have failed to reach any consensus as the agitating farmer unions stuck to their demand for repealing the new laws. The Agriculture Ministry had informed that the government’s ministerial meeting with farmers unions will be held on January 20 at 2 pm at Vigyan Bhawan.

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