Centre on Wednesday proposed to suspend the three contentious farm laws for one and half years and set up a joint committee to discuss the Acts to end the stalemate, but farmer leaders did not immediately accept the proposal and said they will revert after their internal consultations. The next round of meeting has been scheduled for January 22.
“During discussions, we said that govt is ready to put on hold the farm laws for one or one and half year. I’m happy that farmer unions have taken this very seriously and said that they would consider it tomorrow and convey their decision on January 22,” Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said after the meeting.
During the meeting, farmer leaders also raised the issue of NIA notices being served to some farmers, alleging it was being done just to harass those supporting the agitation, to which the government representatives said they will look into the matter.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court Wednesday said it was “inappropriate” for the court to act on the Centre’s plea seeking an injunction against the proposed tractor rally scheduled on January 26. Stating that it was not for the court to pass orders, the bench said that the question of who should be allowed into Delhi to hold protests is a law and order issue that has to be handled by the police and not the court. The Centre, later, withdrew the petition.
In other news, the Supreme Court-appointed committee of experts held its first meeting in New Delhi Tuesday, and its members said they would “try to convince” the protesting farmers while seeking views of other farmer organisations and the government. Amid apprehensions among the farmer bodies over the members chosen for the committee, Chief Justice of India S A Bobde observed that a person will not be disqualified from being a member of any committee merely because he or she previously held an opinion on the subject being considered by it.