Centre's talks bound to fail: Supreme Court on farmers' protest

Shalini Ojha
·3-min read


16 Dec 2020: Centre's talks bound to fail: Supreme Court on farmers' protest

The Supreme Court on Wednesday spoke on the farmers' agitation for the first time, noting that Centre's negotiations don't work, also predicting that they are bound to fail in the future.

A bench, headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde, said it could form a panel consisting of farmers' leaders and representatives of government to end the deadlock.

Yesterday, farmers said they will "make" the government repeal the laws.

Background: Context: Agitation started days ago, has been intensifying ever since

Three bills were passed during the monsoon session after much uproar. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government claimed these laws will improve farmers' income, allowing them to sell their produce to a buyer of their choice.

But farmers contended this claim, saying they will become dependent on corporates.

To pressurize the government to repeal the laws, farmers have been camping at Delhi's borders for days.

What happened: We are ready for negotiations, farmers aren't talking: Centre

As the agitation continued, a bunch of pleas was filed in the top court, one of which wanted the removal of farmers from the site in wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

During the hearing, the Centre said it is not averse to negotiations.

"The difficulty is the farmers' 'yes or no' approach. Different ministers talked to them, but they turned their chairs back and did not talk," Centre said.

Blame game: Government again claimed farmers are being misled

The Centre then went on to claim that the farmers' protest has been hijacked by those having vested interests, and also said that it won't ever take a decision that would prove detrimental for them.

On this, CJI Bobde remarked, "What's the point of saying so when it is adversely affecting them?"

He said this issue will soon become a national one.

Question: SC asked why farmers were not involved in the case

CJI Bobde also asked why farmers' organizations were not made a party to the case and directed Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to give names of stakeholder outfits.

"Give us names of organizations that can be before us," he added.

SC also served a notice to the Centre on a plea seeking removal of farmers from the site. The case will be taken up tomorrow.

Statement: Meanwhile, minister thanked farmers who supported reforms

On a related note, Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar once again attempted to reach out to farmers.

At a Kisan Sammelan in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, he praised farmers from Rewa, Sagar, Gwalior, Ujjain, etc., for lending support to PM Modi "when attempts are being made to mislead and agitate farmers of Punjab in one corner of the nation."

Details: The country wants reforms, indicated Tomar

Reiterating that the people of the country want reforms, Tomar said Congress claimed PM Modi's time was up even after the demonetization move.

"When he (PM Modi) implemented GST, people said that his government won't come back. But in 2019 elections, people made him PM for the second time with more seats than the last elections," Tomar told the gathering.