Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Friday that the Centre will repeal all three farm laws, and those protesting farmers should return to their homes, in a historic decision. This comes nearly a year after farmers in Delhi and across the country sat in protest of three controversial farm laws. The laws will be repealed by the end of the month in Parliament’s Winter Session, according to Modi.
The announcement comes on Gurpurab, the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism.
Modi emphasised that three farm laws were enacted to empower and strengthen small farmers, noting that farmers, economists, and agricultural experts had all requested it.
The prime minister claimed that the BJP-led Centre had failed to persuade farmers, adding that some of them remained opposed despite the government’s efforts to educate and inform them.
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Farmers’ leader Rakesh Tikat, who has emerged as the face of the protest, said on Twitter that the farmers would not end their agitation and protest immediately and would continue until the laws were repealed in Parliament.
Meanwhile, the Ugrahan faction of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) applauded the prime minister’s announcement to repeal three contentious farm laws.
Farmers’ unions will meet to determine the next plan of action.
The BKU (Ugrahan) is the largest of the protesting farmers’ unions, and it is currently protesting near the Tikri border.
The decision by the Centre to repeal the three farm laws, according to Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, is a victory for farmers and democracy. “In the upcoming elections, people will not forgive them (the Centre).” This totally fake apology isn’t going to work… People who have apologised for their actions should also resign from politics permanently.
Priyanka Gandhi, Congress leader, targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “ignoring” months of protests against the contentious farm laws before repealing them after “seeing defeat” in the elections. The Congress general secretary claimed in a series of tweets that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was unconcerned about the “martyrdom of over 600 farmers” or the Lakhimpur Kheri incident, in which protesting farmers were run over by a Union minister’s son’s car.
The Congress has announced ‘Kisan Vijay Diwas’ across the country “in recognition of the farmers’ consistent and spirited fight against flawed decisions,” and has asked state units to hold Kisan Vijay Rallies/Kisan Vijay Sabhas.
Since last year, various farmers unions have been protesting at the national capital’s borders, demanding the repeal of three farm laws.
Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020; and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 — have divided the country, resulting in farmer-led protests across the country for the past year.
Farmers’ main concern was that the laws would eventually eliminate the Centre’s guaranteed Minimum Support Price (MSP) on certain crops, leaving them at the mercy of large corporations.