Supreme Court-appointed farm panel member Anil Ghanwat today described as regressive the Central government's decision to repeal the three farm laws which were at the centre of protests by farmers for the past year.
"This is the most regressive step by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as he chose politics over farmers' betterment," Mr Ghanwat told news agency Press Trust of India.
"Our panel had submitted several corrections and solutions over the three farm laws, but instead of using it to solve the impasse, PM Modi and BJP chose to backtrack. They just want to win elections and nothing else," Mr Ghanwat said.
Addressing the nation this morning on the occasion of Guru Nanak Jayanti (Gurpurab), Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the three laws were for the benefit of farmers but "we couldn't convince a section of farmers despite best efforts".
Mr Ghanwat, president of Shetkari Sanghatna, said, "Despite submission of our recommendations to the Supreme Court, it now seems that this government has not even read it. The decision to repel the farm laws is purely political, with an aim to win the Uttar Pradesh and Punjab elections in the coming months."
Anil Ghanwat said the decision to repeal the farm laws has "now closed the doors of all types of reforms in agriculture and its marketing sector."
"The farmers' interest has been sacrificed over the party's (BJP) political interest," he claimed.
While he was Union Agriculture Minister, NCP chief Sharad Pawar too had pushed for similar reforms, but for political reasons, he too opposed these laws later, Mr Ghanwat said. "As a farmers' organisation, we will continue to sensitise people on this issue," he added.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)