Three controversial farm laws that caused massive farmer protests across the country will be withdrawn, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today in a stunning announcement that comes ahead of key state elections.
The announcement came on the Guru Purab festival, when Sikhism founder Guru Nanak’s birthday is celebrated.
“Maybe something was lacking in our tapasya, 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 in an address to the nation.
“Whatever I did was for farmers. What I am doing is for the country.”
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Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan have been camping outside Delhi since November 2020, demanding that the laws be withdrawn.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 protests did not stop through several rounds of talks between the government and farmers, disruptions in parliament and Supreme Court hearings.
“We haven’t been able to convince farmers. Only a section of them was opposing the laws, but we kept trying to educate and inform them,” PM Modi said.
The opposition and farmers accused the government of railroading the three laws without much discussion in parliament.
Farmer unions argue that the laws would expose them to unfair competition with corporates and would also deprive them of their assured earnings.