31 March 2022
Sh. Anil Ghanwat, President of Swatantra Bharat Party and member of the Supreme Court Committee on Farm Laws today wrote to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India to inform the Court regarding potentially criminal misdemeanours by opponents of the 2020 Farm Laws.
Sh. Bhupinder Singh Mann, former Rajya Sabha MP and an eminent farmers’ leader from Punjab, was appointed to the Supreme Court’s Committee on Farm Laws but recused himself from the role. It is now understood from Mr Mann’s 23 March 2022 statement that his family was threatened, forcing him to recuse himself from the role – thus preventing him from discharging his functions and sabotaging the intent of the Supreme Court to seek good advice.
In particular, Sh. Mann has highlighted the role of the procurement mafia (mandis, Food Corporation of India) which was against the 2020 Farm Laws which would have cost them their corrupt income. From Sh. Mann’s statements it seems likely that this procurement mafia, operating at the senior-most levels of government, was involved in making credible threats against his family.
In addition, Sh. Ghanwat’s letter points out that some leaders of the farmers agitation such as Sh. Yogendra Yadav were driven purely by anti-BJP political objectives which led them to falsify the facts about the Farm Laws on a Goebbels’-level scale, thus misleading India’s innocent farmers. They could be potentially liable for contributing to the deaths of farmers who mistakenly joined the anti-farm laws agitation.
Such “farmer” leaders said that farmers’ lands will be taken away and MSP and APMCs will be abolished. But MSP was not even mentioned in the laws, and APMCs were not being removed: only competition was being introduced. The Report of the Supreme Court Committee on Farm Laws – a dead letter now, which I released on 21 March 2022 – states that “only 27.5 percent of respondent farmer/farmer groups sell their produce at the MSP”. MSP is thus not a concern for the overwhelming majority of India’s farmers who have never sold anything at MSP in their entire life. As for the lie about farmers’ land being taken away, section 15 of the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 specifically ruled out such possibility.
Mr Ghanwat has asked the Hon’ble Supreme Court to take suo moto cognisance of these pieces of new information to cause an appropriate investigation.
Notes for Editors
Swatantra Bharat Party is India’s only liberal party (with merger of Swarna Bharat Party and Swatantra Bharat Paksha having been completed on 28 March 2022). An electronic copy of this press release and letter to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is available here.
Anil Ghanwat, senior leader of Shetkari Sanghatana and President, Swatantra Bharat Party, Ph: 9923707646, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sanjeev Sabhlok, adviser, email@example.com.