Kisan union moves SC against farm laws seeking intervention
New Delhi: With the farmers' protests escalating by the day and the Delhi-Jaipur highway expected to be blocked on Saturday by agitating agrarians, the Bharatiya Kisan Union Bhanu, one of the protesting farmer unions, on Friday moved an intervening application in a petition challenging the three contentious farm laws in the Supreme Court.
The intervening application has been filed in the plea originally filed by DMK MP Tiruchi Siva, which is pending hearing before a bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde.
The bench, on October 12, had issued a notice to the Centre by agreeing to test the validity of the laws on the pleas filed by RJD lawmaker from Rajya Sabha, Manoj Jha and DMK Rajya Sabha MP from Tamil Nadu, Tiruchi Siva, and one by Rakesh Vaishnav of Chhattisgarh Kisan Congress.
The three laws — Farmers' (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020 and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020 - took effect from September 27 after President Ram Nath Kovind's assent.
The plea file by farmer union leader Bhanu Pratap Singh argues that these laws will lead to the "cartelisation and commercialisation" of agricultural produce and was "illegal and arbitrary". It goes on to claim that the farmers will be at the mercy of the "corporate greed of multinational companies".
Meanwhile, as the farmers on Friday announced that they will not go ahead with their "Rail Roko" blockade of railway tracks but will continue with their protest plan of blocking the Delhi-Jaipur highway and freeing toll plazas; Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar waded controversial waters as he implied the farmers were letting "anti-social" elements "hijack" their movement.
Tomar, while appealing to the farmers to end their stir, said some "anti-social elements" are conspiring to spoil the atmosphere of the peasants' movement under the guise of farmers and asked them to be vigilant against their platform being misused.
He also said the government is sensitive towards farmers and is in discussion with them and their representatives to resolve the current deadlock.
"A proposal to resolve the farmers' objection has also been sent to the farmers union and the government is ready for further discussion," Tomar tweeted.
At least five rounds of formal talks have taken place between the central government and representatives of thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab and Haryana, but the deadlock has continued with the farmer unions sticking to their main demand for the repeal of the three
contentious fram laws and repeatedly rejecting the Centre's offer to make amendments.
Bhartiya Kisan Union leader Balbir Singh Rajewal dismissed the event at the Tikri border on Thursday where photos of anti-CAA and Bhima Koregaon activists in jail were raised.
"We have no relation with the Tikri border incident," he added.
As per the protest plan, on December 14, houses of BJP leaders will be surrounded and toll plazas and Reliance shops will be shut down in the whole country.
According to sources, three factions will block the Delhi-Jaipur High on December 12. One faction will be led by Rajasthan union, the other by Punjab and the third will be led by Yogendra Yadav.
Meanwhile, BKU leader Rakesh Tikait said that if the government wants to talk to the farmers, it should "formally convey it to them".
As the peaceful protests at various borders continue on Friday, sources have raised concerns over the government narrative, saying that it "can use any means to hamper the movement".
"The protest is peaceful and the demands are genuine, but we all are well aware what this government is capable of doing. We will peacefully continue the protest even as many of us are being intimidated by the government. Officials are being sent to our homes to scare our families, but the issue is more important than anything else," a member from the Kisan union said.
With inputs from Nikita Jain