RSS gave a clear indication that it was not happy with how the government is dealing with farmers’ protest
After a meeting on Thursday, farmers’ union leaders decided to reject the government’s offer to keep the farm laws on hold to for 12 to 18 months. Desperate to end the stalemate, the government had offered to put the farm laws on hold until the committee decides what to do with it. But after discussing among themselves, farmers decided to reject the offer. While some farmers leaders thought that it is a good move, some said that the government is on backfoot and we should not let this opportunity go away as it would be difficult to stage a protest after 18 months of this level.
The government on Wednesday had offered a joint committee of government and farmer representatives to address the grievances. While the government was ready for a long haul, their decision to put the farm laws has shocked many people.
In this article, we will try to find possible reasons why the Modi government decided to offer something which could lead to an image that farmers have overpowered government.
The Supreme Court of India had put a stay on the implementation of the law on January 12. It was a very rare instance as the apex court hardly stay a law passed by the parliament. People close to the developments on both sides say that the government did not anticipate this. While BJP leaders thought the top court’s decision to appoint an expert panel as “a way out” from the farmers protest, some expressed resentment over “judicial overreach.” The Supreme Court’s decision to put this on hold would definitely be a reason for Centre’s offer.
Recently RSS leadership made a public statement that the government should deal with the protest with sensitivity. The rare public remark was seen as an exhibition of the Sangh’s disillusionment over the way the government has handled the issue. A senior BJP leader saw it as a clear message to the Modi government that Sangh was not happy with the development. Although BJP keeps the governance issues away from Sangh’s influence, the party won’t want its leaders (many come from the Sangh background) to be divided on the issue.
The Sangh leadership’s open call could give rise to those disapproving voices within the party, which thought that the government should have had more deliberations on the Bills or that it could have been referred to a select committee once the objections were raised. The Modi government would not want its senior leaders to speak against the party line.
Supreme Court disinterest in Tractor march on Republic day could be one of the reasons
The Supreme Court had said during the hearing that Delhi police should decide on the entry of protesting farmers into Delhi on 26th January. This decision disappointed many in the government as tractor rally on Republic Day is not the optics the government would enjoy. It would be an embarrassment for the government to have such a rally when the President of the country would be hoisting the flag at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The tractor rally might overshadow the Republic Day parade create a major embarrassment for the government.
The budget session is set to begin on January 29. This would give the opposition a chance to corner the government on the farm laws and the unrelenting protests at the several borders of New Delhi. Many parties, including regional parties and even some allies, have expressed their support to the farmers, the government could be cornered in the Parliament. If the government had been successful in breaking the protest, the opposition would not have got an opportunity to get united against the parliament. Now that the farmers’ union leaders have said no the proposal of putting the hold on three farm laws, the opposition will get an opportunity to rally smaller parties against the government in the parliament.
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