‘They were good reforms; some farmers were convinced but others were not’
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation at 9 am today and in a stunning U-turn, he decided to repeal all three agricultural reform laws that have sparked almost a year of massive protests by farmers. He said his Cabinet will take the decision next month.
The three controversial Farm Laws are at the heart of massive farmer protests across the country for over a year.
The PM’s announcement came on the Guru Purab festival, when Sikhism Founder Guru Nanak’s birthday is celebrated across India, mainly in Punjab, where elections will be held in three months.
“Maybe something was lacking in our tapasya (efforts), which is why we could not convince some farmers about the laws. But today is Prakash Parv, not the time to blame anyone. Today, I want to tell the country that we have decided to repeal the three Farm Laws,” PM Modi said.
Last year, in September, President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent for the three Farm Bills passed by the Parliament. The three Bills were: Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill 2020.
These Bills were passed by Parliament during the Monsoon Session last year. Farmers have continued to express apprehension that the Centre’s farm reforms would leave them at the “mercy” of big companies.
“In the Parliament session starting at the end of this month, we will complete the process of repealing the three laws,” he said.
The Prime Minister began with a defence of the laws saying they were meant as good reforms, mainly for small and marginal farmers in the country. But some farmers were convinced, others were not, he admitted. “Whatever I did was for farmers. What I am doing is for the country.”
To ensure that farmers get the right amount for their hard work, many steps were taken. “We strengthened the rural infrastructure market. We not only increased MSP but also set up record Government procurement centres. Procurement by our Government broke the record of the past several decades,” he said.
Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan have been camping outside Delhi since November 2020, demanding that the “black laws” be withdrawn. The BJP has faced massive anger in Northern States, something it cannot afford as it preps for big elections ahead, including the 2024 national polls.
How did farmers react?
Rakesh Tikait, a farmer leader, said the protests would not stop before the laws were repealed in the Parliament Session starting Nov. 29. The farmer protests were unrelenting through several rounds of talks between the Government and farmers, disruptions in Parliament and Supreme Court hearings.
A group of farmers was seen celebrating at the Ghazipur border. Tikait said the farmers will continue the agitation, and added that, “will wait for the day when the farm laws will be scrapped in the Parliament.”
In a tweet in Hindi, Tikait wrote, “The agitation will not be taken back. We will wait for the day when the farm laws will be scrapped in the Parliament. Government should talk on other issues of farmers too, besides MSP.”
Historic defeat of real farmers and Big win for foreign forces,communists and vested interests over the poor farmers. Now they can protest to reinstate Article 370, repeal CAA and release all the criminals from jail whom the NY times calls ‘Gandhis with guns’. This can be the start. India should fear the day when Modi is gone, it will be a field day for vultures.God save India
This was a Bad , Sad day for India, where good economics lost, politics won!
Only a select few (rich) farmers are able to sell to to government (the percentage of produce sold on MSP was ~2%). With so much food waste and poor supply chains, majority of these farmers can’t even sustain their livelihood. Market based reforms were an opportunity to improve their livelihood.
Also, it was shocking to see who opposed these laws. From Justin Trudeau in Canada (whose country has an active WTO case against India for government funding agriculture), to the Indian congress party (that originally proposed these reforms) to the journalists on FT, Bloomberg and various anti-Modi local Indian newspapers like NY Times, Washington Post who focused on politics and not economics, the irony of this mess couldn’t have been more profound, Pseudo environmentalists like Greta who supported stubble burning and hate India toolkit gang .
And of course, unlike what most say, Modi finally repealed this for votes. He probably doesn’t care about Punjab as his party has almost no vote base there. But elections in UP are next. And the western UP is heavily influenced by the protesting farm unions (and ironically, the most influencing ones are BJP supporters). He would shed some tears, visit some villages, and go to some more rallies, would be hailed as a hero. There is a reason why his approval ratings are above 70% even in the second term. As per his opposition, I don’t know what to say. They are dodos who just killed a chance Indian farmers had to reform. Congratulations!
Modi is already over 70 years and does not need to be the PM if people do not want him. People in a democracy are free to elect Rahul and run central government like Maharashtra government as puppets of the drug mafia! It is not Modi’s loss, but definitely India’s loss
These above 2 gentle man are not farmers and no nothing about farming, simple passing irrational comments. 750 farmers lost lives in protest, scarified their saving against these laws all are not fools across country. Modi have blood of him he have killed 750 farmers he should be sued for it.
Modi should nor have repealed these laws. For over an year farmers got better price and started seeing the advantages. Now the middle men and dalals after their victory have a difficult time imposing their old habits as now farmers are more educated, may be there will be another round of unrest this time between re farmers and the touts.We can see the symptoms that real farmers want to return to work while the fake farmers want to continue agitation because they are scared to go back
Before writing idiotic comments please try to understand this video that clearly shows the truth about farmers laws . This nation is headed to disaster partly because of antinationals and party because of stupid citizens