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Farmers’ protest: SC suggests panel for negotiations to end stalemate


The Supreme Court has suggested that a panel comprising of representatives from all stakeholders should be created to resolve the farmers’ protest. The top court has also issued notices to the Centre as well as the Delhi, Punjab and Haryana governments directing them to file a response on the issue by Thursday.

The court said there is an urgent need to resolve the issue through negotiations, while remarking that the farmers’ protest will soon become a “national issue”. It said that the Union government’s negotiations do not work and are bound to fail again. The apex court was hearing a batch of petitions concerning the farmers’ protest going on for the past 3 weeks.

Govt ready for negotiations

The Union government informed the court that it is ready for negotiations with the farmers. The government, however, asserted that the problem is the farmers’ ‘yes or no’ approach.

The Centre also said that “some other interests have taken over the farmers’ protest”. The government has repeatedly attacked the Opposition for misleading the farmers and blamed it for politicising the issue.

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Notably, several rounds of discussions between the Centre and the agitating farmers’ leaders have remained inconclusive. While the Centre is promising amendments in the three farm laws to pacify the farmers, the latter is not ready to settle down for anything less than the scrapping of the contentious laws. In fact, Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar has said that the government is ready to have a clause by clause discussion with the farmers.

Protesting farmers’ organisations made party in the case

Chief Justice SA Bobde questioned why the protesting farmers’ groups are not made a party in the petitions. He said the farmers’ organisations need to be heard before an order is passed. The bench directed solicitor general Tushar Mehta to provide the name of the associations to the petitioners so that they can be added as parties.

Thousands of farmers are camping at the borders adjoining Delhi while protesting against the farm laws recently enacted by the Centre. With discussions with the Centre failing to resolve the stalemate, the protesting farmers have warned that they will intensify their agitation. Several political parties including the Congress, TRS, AAP and NCP have extended their support to the farmers.


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