New Delhi: Bowing to Sangh Parivar pressure, the Centre on Tuesday put on hold its decision to allow field trials of GM crops. The Sangh-backed trade union Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) had openly attacked the Narendra Modi government for “deceiving people” on the issue of GM crops.
On Tuesday, at a meeting with the SJM, the government eventually succumbed to the pressure and decided to “put on hold its decision” on field trials of GM crops.
On July 18, the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee, that works under the environment ministry, had given the green signal for field trials of genetically-modified rice, mustard, cotton, chickpea and brinjal.
This newspaper had been the first to report (on July 20, 2014) that the SJM was strongly opposing the government’s move to give clearance for these field trials. On Tuesday, representatives of the SJM and Bharatiya Kisan Sangh, both front organisations of the Sangh, met minister of state for environment Prakash Javdekar and expressed their “concern” over the approval given to the field trials of 15 GM crops by the GEAC. The minister assured the SJM and BKS members that the decision on field trials of GM crops “has been put on hold”.
After the environment ministry cleared the field tests for GM crops, the SJM had in a statement lashed out at the government, saying, “The people of India who have elected the BJP to power are feeling deceived. They voted BJP to power on the promises the party made in its 2014 manifesto and speeches by leaders during the poll.”