India to repeal 3 farm laws after months of protests

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announces decision in national address.

NEW DELHI (AA) – In a major decision, India on Friday announced that it has decided to repeal three farm laws after months of protests by farmers.

Addressing the nation on Friday morning, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the government has decided to repeal all three farm laws which were brought in last year in September.

“Today I have come to tell you, the whole country, that we have decided to withdraw all three agricultural laws,” Modi said in his address, urging the agitating farmers to return to their homes. “In the Parliament session starting later this month, we will complete the constitutional process to repeal these three agricultural laws.”

Modi in his Friday address stated that despite efforts to inform the farmers, “we couldn’t convince a section of farmers.” He also added a committee will be constituted which will look into various issues related to agriculture reforms.

Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan have been camping outside Delhi since November 2020, demanding that the laws be withdrawn. The farmers say new laws will threaten their livelihoods and benefit large corporations and industrialists.

The announcement by the Indian premier has come on the Guru Purab festival, the birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh religion.​​​​​​​

The northern Punjab and Uttar Pradesh states are gearing up for provincial election in the next few months.

While several rounds of talks with the government have fallen through, farmer leaders insist on the total repeal of the laws.

In January, the Supreme Court also ordered an indefinite stay on the implementation of the laws, though the farmers still insist on a full repeal.

The movement, one of the biggest challenges Modi has faced since coming to power in 2014, has also drawn international support.

Farmer leaders have welcomed the Indian government’s Friday announcement.

“It was the main demand of the farmers and It is a big victory for everyone,” Sukhdev Singh Kokri, a farmer leader, told Anadolu Agency. “700 people have died in this agitation. Everyone is now happy that the laws have been repealed.”

He said that further course of action will be taken as all the farm bodies will sit together. “It is not an individual decision,” he said.

Rakesh Tikait, a prominent farm leader, said that the agitation will not be withdrawn immediately. “We will wait for the day when agricultural laws will be repealed in Parliament,” he wrote on Twitter.

“Along with MSP (Minimum Support Price), the government should also discuss other issues of farmers,” he added.​​​​​​​

Minimum support price protects the farmers from price shocks in case of a bad crop year.


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