To mark Lohri on Wednesday, farmers protesting in the national capital burned copies of the three farm laws. Lohri, a major festival in Punjab which marks the beginning of spring, is usually celebrated with edible items like jaggery, popcorn, rewri and sesame offered to the bonfire. Incidentally, Wednesday also marks the 50th day of the farmers’ protest in Delhi.
Meanwhile, Minister of State for Agriculture Kailash Choudhary has asked the farmer unions to take part in the proceedings of the Supreme Court-appointed panel, without confirming if the ninth-round of talks between the Centre and the farm bodies on January 15 would take place or not.
In other news, Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala is expected to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi today to discuss the protests in the state over the legislations. The meeting comes a day after Dushyant and Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar held talks with Union Home Minister Amit Shah, after which they reiterated there was no threat to the state’s coalition government.
The Supreme Court Tuesday stayed the implementation of the three contentious farm laws and set up a four-member committee to make recommendations on the legislations after listening to all stakeholders. A bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde gave the panel two months to submit its report, which would help the court arrive at a “fair, equitable and just solution”.
In response to the verdict, farmer unions announced they would not participate in the consultation process, and reiterated their demand for repeal of the laws. Leaders welcomed the SC’s interim measure, but said it was “not a solution”. Calling the committee members “pro government”, they said the panel was a way to divert attention from the government, “so that pressure is lifted from them”, and farmers keep fighting in the court.