Indian PM Modi says government will repeal three farm laws following protests

He implored farmers to call off their protests and return home



Reuters
Reuters

By Web Desk

Published: Fri 19 Nov 2021, 8:16 AM

Last updated: Fri 19 Nov 2021, 9:32 AM

In a major development, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Friday that the government would repeal three farm laws.

During his address to the nation, Modi implored farmers to call off their protests and return home, saying that new initiatives would be rolled out to benefit them.

"Whatever I did, I did for farmers. What I'm doing, is for the country. With your blessings, I never left out anything in my hard work. Today, I assure you that I'll now work even harder, so that your dreams, nation's dreams can be realised," he said during the address.

Modi also said he was regretful that the government couldn't convince farmers of the farm laws' advantages, but added that he was committed to protecting their welfare.

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"The government has worked for the benefit of small farmers, who do not have more than two hectares of land to their name," he said, adding that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had launched several schemes over the years to double farmers' income.

The laws were passed in September 2020 and the government had defended them, saying they were necessary to modernise India’s agricultural sector and will boost production through private investment.

But the farmers protested, saying the laws will devastate their earnings by ending guaranteed pricing and force them to sell their crops to corporations at cheaper prices.

In November last year, the farmers escalated their movement by hunkering down on the outskirts of New Delhi, where they have camped out for nearly a year, including through a harsh winter and a coronavirus surge that devastated India earlier this year.

While the farmers’ protest movement has been largely peaceful, demonstrators in January broke through police barricades to storm the historic Red Fort in the capital’s centre. Clashes with police left one protester dead and hundreds injured.

(With inputs from AP)


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