Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) president Bhupinder Singh Mann recused himself from the four-member committee appointed by the Supreme Court on Wednesday to solve the impasse between the Centre and farmers protesting against agricultural laws.
While thanking the Supreme Court for nominating him to the committee, the former MP said, “As a farmer myself and a union leader, in view of the prevailing sentiments and apprehensions amongst the farm unions and the public in general, I am ready to sacrifice any position offered or given to me so as to not compromise the interests of Punjab and farmers of the country, I am recusing myself from the committee and I will always stand with my farmers and Punjab.”
While staying the implementation of the three contentious farm laws until further orders, the Supreme Court-appointed committee to resolve the deadlock comprised Anil Ghanwat, president of Shetkari Sangthana, Pramod Kumar Joshi, director for South Asia, International Food Policy Research Institute, and agriculture economist Ashok Gulati, apart from Mann.
The 81-year-old resident of Punjab’s Batala is the national president of BKU, a part of the All India Kisan Coordination Committee, and was also an Independent Rajya Sabha member from 1990 to 1996.
Mann had supported the Congress during the 2012 and 2017 Assembly polls and 2019 Lok Sabha polls in Punjab. “I have been active for the cause of farmers since decades. In 1966, I had formed the Punjab Kheti Bari Union, which further took form as BKU in 1980. I was the founder chairman of AIKCC and even now am chairman. BKU was the original organisation and later many organisations bifurcated from it. Now, many BKUs have been formed,” he told The Indian Express.