In response to the yearnings of farmers and other stakeholders in the food sector, the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, dumped three controversial farm laws, a year after its passage following persistent unrest across the country.
Modi said that the three laws were repealed after efforts to explain it’s benefits to the stakeholders particularly the farmers who would be major drivers of the new development in the agriculture sector failed.
He made the announcement on Friday barely one year after the laws were introduced by the government to adjust activities within the agriculture sector towards increasing the revenue flow and making it a major employment avenue.
The Prime minister, during a national broadcast on the issue, said: “But despite several attempts to explain the benefits to the farmers, we have failed. On the occasion of Guru Purab, the government has decided to repeal the three farm laws”.
Modi’s announcement was said to have come as a shock to many of his cabinet members that have been steadfastly insisting that the laws were good for farmers and that there was no question of taking them back.
The minister’s declaration came on a day Sikhs, the dominant community in Punjab, were celebrating the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism.
Before the announcement, thousands of farmers had camped at Delhi’s borders since last November and dozens died from heat, cold, and after contracting Coronavirus.
The farmers claimed that the new law introduced by the government would allow the entry of private players into the sector and that would hurt their income, hence the decision to kick against it.
After the announcement, the farmers’ unions executives have described the twist as a huge victory for them and their members.
Meanwhile, experts have argued that the upcoming state elections in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, both have a huge base of farmers, may have forced the decision.
The surprise announcement by the Prime minister marked a major sudden U-turn as the government had not taken any initiative to talk to farmers in recent months.