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June 18, 2021
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Member excuses himself from SC-appointed panel on farm laws

farmers at delhi border

National president of the Bhartiya Kisan Union Bhupinder Singh Mann has opted out of the Supreme Court-appointed committee saying that he doesn’t want to compromise with the farmers’ interests. Looking at the unresolved round of talks between the government and the farmers’ unions, the Apex Court in the country has stalled the implementation of the contentious farm laws.     

The national president of the farmers’ union, BKU, chose to quit the panel a day before the next round of talks between the government and the farmers on Friday. The matter will now go back to the court for further orders.   

“As a farmer myself and a Union leader, in view of the prevailing sentiments and apprehensions amongst farm unions and the public in general, I am ready to sacrifice any position offered or given to me so as not to compromise the interests of Punjab and farmers of the country,” read a statement released by Mr. Mann.

Bhupinder Mann heads his own faction of farmers union BKU and was included as one of the four-member committee formed by the top court on Tuesday to start a dialogue with the farmers and the government.

The panel is tasked to make necessary suggestions so that a solution can be arrived at and the 50-day protest at the borders of Delhi comes to an end. 

On the other hand, his faction had rejected the committee, saying their members were already in favour of farm laws and accused the government of engineering the issue. 

“Bhupender Mann’s organisation BKU sacked him that’s why he has resigned. He used his position for political mileage,” said Rajinder Singh Deepsinghwala, a member of the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha.

Mr. Mann had got a Rajya Sabha seat during the VP Singh government in 1990 during which farmers’ protests were banned in Punjab. Mann’s decision to accept the offer led to a fissure in the BKU.

His son, Gurpratap Singh Mann, is now a member of the Congress party and the Congress government in Punjab made him member of the Punjab Public Services Commission.

The next round of talks will be held on January 15 between the farmers’ unions and the government.

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