In the wake of ongoing farmers’ protests on repeal of farm laws, SC appointed a four member committee, of which one of the members was Bhupinder Singh Mann, BKU National President and chairman of All India Kisan Cordination Committee. He is recently said to have rescued himself from the committee.
Mann however had recused himself from the committee by adding, “As a farmer myself and a Union leader , in view of the prevailing sentiments and apprehension amongst the farm unions and public in general I am ready to sacrifice."
Though Mann could not be reached for comments on the issue, the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) tweeted a letter by Mann on Thursady (14 Januray, 2021) which stated that he was thankful to the apex court for nominating him to the committee.
He added that he is ready to sacrifice any position offered or given to him so as not to compromise the interests of Punjab and farmers of the country.
“I am recusing myself from the committee and I will stand with my farmers and Punjab,” he further said.
The inclusion of Mann in the committee formed to look into the matter has been in a controversy. Earlier, Farmer unions, questioning Mann’s allegiances accused him of being a president of a 'pro-farm laws farm union.' He was also accused by Congress party for supporting the farm laws. Mann said that he does not want to say anything on the farm laws as of now.
“It is clear that the Court is being misguided by various forces even in its constitution of a committee. These are people who are known for their support to the three Acts and have actively advocated for the same,” stated the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee.
Other members of the committee were Agricultural economist Ashok Gulati, All India Coordination Committee,Pramod Kumar Joshi (Director South Asia international Food Policy) and Anil Ghanwat (Shethkari Sangathan). Many questions were raised in certain quarters on the impartiality of the committee members, who were accused of supporting the farm laws earlier on. Mann‘s action comes in the wake of these questions.
The review committee was set to meet within 10 days after the judgment given by the top court on Tuesday (January 12, 2021) and had to submit a report in March. Many Farmers have rejected the committee formed. The next round of talks between farmer unions and the government is scheduled for Friday, i.e. January 15,2021.