Farmers protesting in the national capital celebrated Lohri by burning copies of the three farm laws. Lohri, a major festival in Punjab which marks the beginning of spring, is usually celebrated with edible items like jaggery, popcorn, rewri and sesame offered to the bonfire. Incidentally, Wednesday also marks the 50th day of the farmers’ protest in Delhi.
Meanwhile, Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday to discuss the protests in the state over the legislations. The meeting comes a day after Dushyant and Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar held talks with Union Home Minister Amit Shah, after which they reiterated there was no threat to the state’s coalition government.
Committee ‘not a solution’: Farmers
The Supreme Court Tuesday stayed the implementation of the three contentious farm laws and set up a four-member committee to make recommendations on the legislations after listening to all stakeholders.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde gave the panel two months to submit its report, which would help the court arrive at a “fair, equitable and just solution”.
The SC also sought by Wednesday an affidavit from the Centre on whether a banned organisation had extended support to the agitating farmers.
In the court, Attorney General KK Venugopal claimed “Khalistanis” had infiltrated the ongoing farmers’ protest, and said he would file an application with intelligence inputs.
In response to the SC verdict, farmer unions announced they would not participate in the consultation process, and reiterated their demand for repeal of the laws. Leaders welcomed the SC’s interim measure, but said it was “not a solution”. Calling the committee members “pro government”, they said the panel was a way to divert attention from the government, “so that pressure is lifted from them”, and farmers keep fighting in the court.