In what could be termed as major victory for farmers as well as Prime Minister Narender Modi, the three controversial agricultural laws that was introduced by the Union government last year has been withdrawn. Though it is a moral victory for farmers, who have been protesting in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh borders, the actual person to have the last laugh would be Modi himself!
With the elections for crucial two states in North India – Punjab and Uttar Pradesh – coming up in early next year, the PM has played a card of repealing the farms laws. On the day of Guru Nanak Jayanthi, touching the hearts of the Punjab farmers, Modi made this announcement. It is of no doubt that the farmers of Punjab, north Uttar Pradesh were the ones who sat on protest since last one year against the three farm laws.
“Over the last one year, the Union government made superficial attempts to make the farmers withdraw the protest, with all the talks failing, the Union government was forced to take this decision,” said a farmer in Telangana. Braving the north Indian cold and Covid-19, the farmers sat on protest at Ghazipur and Singur areas, which are two borders of Delhi.
The thousands of famers had camped on the borders and even rallied into the capital many times to make their voices heard. The high-point of the protest was when the captured the Red Fort on January 26, Republic Day, and hoisted Indian flag. The protesters were branded as anti-national and their protests were funded by terrorist groups across the world to unstable the Indian government. But all these did not work in favour of the government, in fact every move to curtail the farmers’ protest failed.
Surprisingly, the PM has not expressed that the laws were anti-farmer. He said that few farmer groups have not understood the benefits of the laws and that the government failed to convince them. So PM Narender Modi has decided to repeal the laws! In his address to the nation today, Modi also appealed to the protesting farmers to return to their homes. He said the government will set up a committee to address all issues impacting farmers. Scientists, farmer groups, state and central officials will be a part of this new panel. He added the government will complete the process of repealing the three farm laws in the winter session of Parliament.
In September 2020, Parliament passed three bills the government said were aimed at freeing up pricing, production and trade in agriculture through ways such as contract farming, allowing farmers to sell their produce wherever they wanted instead of restricting them to local government-controlled mandis.
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The farmers’ union have thanked the PM, but are not immediately withdrawing their protests. They want all other issues of the farmers also to be addressed by the Union government, especially the government policy on minimum support price (MSP).