- One pro-government farm leader
- One neutral farm leader
- Two agriculture scientists
- No Punjab farmers’ representative
New Delhi: Of the four members of the committee – Harsimran Mann, Anil Ghanwants, Dr. Pramod Kumar Joshi and Dr. Ashok Gulati – appointed by the Supreme Court to deal with the protests against the three contentious farm laws, one member representing farm sector is definitely pro-government. The other is a neutral player. Rest two are scientists engaged largely in agricultural research. One of them is an advisor to the present government at the Centre.
Ashok Gulati is the former chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CAPA), the advisory body of the Union government on food supplies and pricing policies. Gulati, who is an agricultural economist was honoured with the Padma Shri in 2015 after Narendra Modi became prime minister. His research is on problems connected to agriculture and food security. Crop insurance, subsidies, sustainability and poverty alleviation are some of his pet subjects.
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Dr. Promod Kumar Joshi, another agriculture economist, is well known in the field of agriculture research. He was director of National Academy of Agricultural Economics and Policy Research in Delhi. He was also a South Asia Coordinator at the International Food Policy Research Institute. He is also a senior economist at the International Crops Research institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics in Patancheru in Telangana.
Anil Ghanwant is the president of the Shetkari Sanghatana which has been fully backing the government in the entire agitation by farmers. Harsimran Mann is a leader of the farmer union, Bharatiya Kisan Union, which was founded by Choudhury Charan Singh. Famous farm leaders like Sharad Anantarao Joshi, Ramaswamy Naidu and Mahendra Singh Tikait were associated with this organization. It is active in Western Uttar Pradesh. It is part of the Kisan Morcha, an umbrella organization of the protesting farmers unions. But it is not as ferocious as its counterparts from Punjab. In balance, there is no representative of the farmers unions which are in the forefront of the protest movement. The government is keen on avoiding the tractor rally being carried out on the Republic Day. The government had told the court it would be embarrassing to the government if the threat of a rally is carried out. The farmers had started their protest in late November last year. They refused to budge and they have been insisting on the three farm laws being withdrawn by the government. The government
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