Will bring lakh farmers to Delhi in support of reforms SC panel member

NEW DELHI: Member of the Supreme Court appointed committee on farm laws, Anil Ghanwat, on Tuesday wrote to the apex court to release their committee’s report and also said he will mobilise a lakh farmers, who support farm reforms, to Delhi.

Ghanwat’s Committee has submitted a report in connection with the three contentious farm laws, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced to repeal on November 19. The Shetkari Sanghatana leader from Maharashtra reached Delhi on Monday and held a meeting with another member of the panel, agriculture economist, Ashok Gulati.

Ghanwat told media, “I have written a letter to the Supreme Court again today demanding it to release our report. Now that the three laws are going to be repealed, this report can play an educational role.”

Whether or not the Committee will bring out that report in public by itself will be decided later, he said.

The Supreme Court had appointed the three-member committee – apart from Ghanawat and Gulati, the third member is P.K. Joshi – in January this year while staying the three farm laws. The Committee had submitted the report in March after a wide multi-stakeholder consultation.

However, since then neither did the apex court make use of any of its recommendations nor was the report made public. Ghanawat had, in September, written to the then Chief Justice of India, to release the report so that its recommendations can be used by the government for resolving the agitation of the farmers that had turned widespread with even violence disturbing at some places. This is Ghanwat’s second letter after his first in September to the apex court.

Explaining that he and his team never wanted to pitch farmers against farmers and therefore never took to streets till date, Ghanwat said, however, now that the PM has announced to repeal the laws, we will take to the streets if needed.

“But we don’t want to disturb Delhi. We will bring at least a lakh genuinely worried farmers, who support reforms in agriculture,” Ghanwat said.

Commenting on the Samyukt Kisan Morcha’s demand to legalise Minimum Support Price (MSP) along with cancelling the three laws, Ghanwat said, “MSP is not the answer, it can never be. Farmers need to diversify. Look at progressive farmers in Maharashtra – farmers are doing dairy, fisheries, poultry and orchards.”

Technology freedom and trade freedom should help the farmers as against the current practices of price regulation by the government by way of import or export ban, he said. Sanjeev Sabhlok, an advisor, said, “We need an Agriculture Policy, we need a white paper on the issue with wider consultation.”