Don't be on wrong side of history: BKU (Lok Shakti) to members of SC-appointed panel

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Noida (UP), Jan 14 (PTI) Members of the committee appointed by the Supreme Court to resolve farm laws deadlock should follow the suit of Bhupinder Singh Mann and not be on the 'wrong side of history', a farmers' union said here on Thursday.

Mann, the national president of Bharatiya Kisan Union, on Thursday expressed gratitude over his nomination into the four-member committee but recused himself saying he would give up any position to prevent farmers' interests from being compromised.

'Mann's decision is a welcome move. The other three members of the panel, who have shown pro-new farm laws stance should also follow Mann's suit. This ongoing agitation for rollback of the three agri laws is history in the making, and we urge they should not be on the wrong side of history,' Bharatiya Kisan Union (Lok Shakti) spokesperson Shailesh Kumar Giri said.

Apart from Mann, Shetkari Sanghatana (Maharashtra) president Anil Ghanwat, International Food Policy Research Institute's Pramod Kumar Joshi and agriculture economist Ashok Gulati were appointed on the panel.

BKU (Lok Shakti) members have been camping at the Dalit Prerna Sthal in Noida since first week of December to demand withdrawal of the three new contentious laws. Besides BKU (Lok Shakti), members of BKU (Bhanu) are also staying put at Chilla at Noida-Delhi border over the issue.

Meanwhile, scores of farmers belonging to the two BKU factions stayed put in Noida on Thursday night after celebrating 'Makar Sankranti' at the protest sites and burning symbolic copies of the new laws.

Support also poured in for the BKU (Lok Shakti) as five of its members from Odisha joined the protest which already has farmers from various districts of Uttar Pradesh.

'Among those who joined from Odisha are the union's Odisha unit chief Sangram Pillai,' Giri said.

BKU (Bhanu) and BKU (Lok Shakti) are not a part of the Sanyukta Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of 40 farmers unions, which are leading the charge at Delhi's border points in Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur, but have extended their support to the cause.

Thousands of farmers are currently staying put at Delhi's borders with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh in protest against the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

The protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that these laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the 'mercy' of big corporations.

However, the government has maintained that the new laws will bring farmers better opportunities and usher in new technologies in agriculture. PTI KIS AAR AAR