PM announces repeal of 3 Farm Laws

PM Narendra Modi addressing Nation on the eve of Guru Nanak Jayanti.

Apologising to the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on the eve of Guru Nanak Jayanti today the repeal of the three contentious farm laws against which farmers have been protesting on the borders of Delhi for nearly a year. The decision comes ahead of Assembly elections in five states next year and the recent dismal performance of BJP in the bypolls.
In his address to the nation, he said, “Today, while apologising to the countrymen, I want to say with a sincere and pure heart that perhaps there must have been some deficiency in our efforts, due to which we could not explain the truth like the light of the lamp to some farmers.”
The three farm laws are: Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020.
“Today is the holy festival of light of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. This is not the time to blame anyone,” Modi said.
In the sudden turn of events, he also set up a committee of state and central representatives to make the Minimum Support Price (MSP) mechanism more transparent and effective.
The laws were brought in the best interest of the nation and were aimed at small and marginal farmers, he said.
The laws will be repealed in the forthcoming session of Parliament.
“I urge all agitating farmers to go back to their families and villages and let’s start a new beginning,” Modi said in his address.
Thousands of farmers have been camping on the borders of Delhi since the last one year in protest against the laws and also demanding a legal guarantee on MSP.
The agitation, which started as stray protests in some villages of Punjab against the three farm laws passed by Parliament in June 2020, gathered steam over time and spread to other parts of the country, including neighbouring Haryana, western Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
The protests reached a crescendo when thousands of farmers from Punjab and elsewhere marched towards the capital Delhi late last year and decided to block the main entry points once they were denied entry.
The Centre, on its part, held 11 rounds of discussions with the protesting farmers and even offered to amend some of the provisions without much success, as the protestors stuck to their main demand.
The violent events of January 26 2021, when scores of agitating farmers devi
Modi says sorry, announces
repeal of 3 Farm Laws
ated from a fixed tractor rally route and forced entry into the main thoroughfares of Delhi, leading to pitched battles with the police, were seen as a big setback for the stir but the forced eviction of Bhartiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait and his emotional outburst revived the sagging morale of the agitators.
And within days, western Uttar Pradesh became the new epicentre of the protests, which shifted from Punjab and Haryana.
In between, the Supreme Court intervened and decided to constitute a high-powered panel of experts to study the three laws and suggest a way forward.
The panel was rejected by the protesting farmers as it consisted of people known to have favoured the laws in some forum or the other.
The panel submitted its report to the apex court in due course but little has been heard about the same since, so much so that one of the panel members wrote a letter to the chief justice requesting him to make the report public.
The Centre has repeatedly said that their doors are open for talks but has not shown much keenness in taking the process forward since last one year.
In between, the protest sites have been rocked by incidents of violence and also elsewhere there has been violent protests by farmers.
To mark one year of the agitation, the farmers had planned a series of events on November 26 and were planning to march to the Parliament with their tractors to commemorate the event. Protests were also planned in other parts of the country as well.
At several flash points, the crowds have thinned considerably from the heydays of protests–something the leaders blame on the peak paddy harvesting and wheat sowing season in several parts.