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BKU leader Bhupinder Mann recuses himself from SC-appointed committee

New Delhi: Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) president Bhupinder Singh Mann on Thursday recused himself from the four-member committee appointed by the Supreme Court to mediate with protesting farmers over the newly-enacted three agriculture reform laws.

“In view of the prevailing sentiments and apprehensions amongst the farm unions and the public in general, I am ready to sacrifice my position offered or given to me so as not to compromise the interests of Punjab and farmers of the country,” he said in a statement.

Mr Mann, a former Rajya Sabha MP and also the Chairman of the All India Kisan Coordination Committee was one out of the four members among the expert panel constituted by the Apex Court.

He was in a group of farmers that met Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar in December, to express their support for the new laws.

However, he was the only member in the SC committee who has not expressed broad support for the new laws. Mann supported the implementation of the laws, but with some amendments.

Anil Ghanwat of Shetkari Sanghatana, Dr Pramod Kumar Joshi, a leading agri scientist and Ashok Gulati, an agricultural economist were the other three members.

Maharashtra-based farmer body Shetkari Sanghatana has been backing the Centre in the entire protests while Joshi and Gulati had expressed their support in the contentious laws earlier.

The committee was expected to facilitate talks between the Centre and farmers and submit its report within two months.

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