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Congress questions 'impartiality' of members on panel formed by SC
New Delhi, January 12, 2021
The Congress on Tuesday questioned the impartiality of the members of a Supreme Court-appointed panel and reiterated that the three new central farm laws be instead withdrawn and direct talks be held by the Prime Minister with protesters.
The Chief Justice had mentioned the names of agricultural experts Ashok Gulati, Dr Pramod Kumar Joshi, Anil Dhanawat and B S Mann as members of the committee to hear the farmers' views and help end the impasse arising out of their protest against the new laws.
Except for Mann, the other three have allegedly supported the farm laws in the recent past.
"These panel members selected by the Supreme Court have openly expressed views against the withdrawal of these farm laws. It will be tough for farmers to repose faith in the committee, wherein a majority of members have views different from theirs on the issue," Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill remarked.
Shergill also demanded the resignation of Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar for what he called "total incompetence, irrational and irresponsible behaviour of the BJP-led central government", due to which the higher judiciary had to step in.
"The stay order on the farm laws is a tight legal slap on the BJP's dictatorial law-making and imposing mechanism," he said.
Congress General Secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala demanded that the three "black" laws be repealed. "From day one, Ministers have branded protesting farmers as anti-national and often Khalistanis; farmers are still being subjected to abuse by the BJP," Surjewala alleged.
The Congress reiterated its support to farmers on their demands, asserting that anybody opposed to farmers was not a party member. "The Congress will not sit back till the laws are not taken back," he added.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the implementation of the three new central farm laws enacted in September 2020 and formed the committee to hear the grievances of the farmer unions against these laws.