NCP lauds SC stay on three farm laws, but farmers firm on repeal

Raju Shetti says apex court order smells of government conspiracy against farmers

Terming the Supreme Court order staying the implementation of the three controversial farm laws as a ‘big relief’ for farmers, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar on Tuesday said it would lead to a concrete dialogue between the Central government and farmers.

Farmer leaders from Maharashtra, however, called it only a step forward and clarified that the farmers’ agitation would not stop until all the three laws were repealed.

Last month, Mr. Pawar met President Ram Nath Kovind and sought a repeal of the three farm laws.

“A welcome decision taken by the Apex court of India to put on hold the implementation of three farm bills and set up a four member committee to resolve the issue. It is big relief for farmers and I hope that a concrete dialogue between central government and farmers will be initiated now, keeping the farmers interests and well being in mind,” Mr. Pawar tweeted.

Maharashtra NCP chief Jayant Patil said the Centre should repeal the laws. Mr. Patil, in a video message, thanked the apex court for staying the implementation of the laws.

Referring to the farmers’ protest, he accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of not responding to the demands of peasants.

He said never were farmers of the country compelled to protest like this in free India. “I thank the SC for staying the implementation of the laws. I am sure the farmers who have gone to Delhi will not retreat till the laws are revoked,” the State Water Resources Minister said.

“The PM and the BJP should immediately take the step to repeal the laws, which the Supreme Court views as appropriate to be stayed,” he added.

Party spokesperson and State Minority Affairs Minister Nawab Malik said that the government should use this opportunity and stop being adamant. “A new proposal should be prepared to bring out new laws by revoking the present ones,” he said.

Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana leader and former MP Raju Shetti said the stay order smelt of a government conspiracy against farmers. “Farmers have never demanded a stay on these laws, but have sought their repeal. The Supreme Court has not even considered this and instead formed a four-member committee. All members have openly supported these laws,” he said.

Mr. Shetti said that it was a complete betrayal of protesting farmers. “The Central government is trying to create an impression for the time being that laws are being stayed. But those will be implemented again after the committee’s report,” he said.

Ajit Nawale, Maharashtra unit head of the All India Kisan Sabha, said that the demand of farmers was to annul the laws. “The umbrella body of protesting farmers has already declared that it will not hold talks with the committee. We are firm on our demand,” he said, adding that the apex court’s order was only a small step towards the bigger goal.

(With PTI inputs)

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