With the Supreme Court on Wednesday refusing to prevent the farmers’ tractor rally in the Capital on Republic Day, the Centre pressed for a resolution by proposing to put the contentious farm laws in abeyance for up to two years and form a joint committee to discuss the laws clause-wise as also the MSP. The Centre said it was ready to file an affidavit to this effect in the Supreme Court to dispel any doubts.
The farmers’ representatives described the Centre’s new proposal as a “positive” step and offered to take it back to the 500 organisations in the Samyukta Kisan Morcha on Thursday and report their response back to the Centre by Friday noon.
“The government was blowing very hot in the morning but cooled off as the day wore on,” said Hannan Mollah of the All India Kisan Sabha. “Nevertheless, it is a new proposal and the Centre is now ready to put the laws on hold for one-and-a-half to two years. In the intervening period, they will constitute a committee of farmers and government representatives and discuss the laws. We have told them that all 500 organisations involved in the movement will sit together tomorrow and discuss the new proposal.”
The Supreme Court had, earlier in the day, told the Centre that it was both “improper and irregular” for the court to disallow any rally by protesting farmers on Republic Day.
Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar then reportedly told farmers unions during their over six-hour-long 10th round of meeting that to dispel their doubts, the Centre is ready to give an affidavit in the SC to the effect of staying the implementation of the laws for one or two years.
Tomar, along with Cabinet colleague Piyush Goyal, reportedly told the farmers unions that today being the “Prakash Parva of Guru Gobind Singh”, there should be a resolution to the almost two-month-long stand-off.
The farmers’ unions also raised the issue of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) sending notices to the protesters and their sympathisers to “put pressure” on them. “They (the ministers) asked for a list of such people saying they will look into the matter,” said Mollah.