In a stunning and dramatic move, the Centre has decided to withdraw the controversial farm laws which triggered massive farmer protests, for months, across the country.
Addressing the nation at 9 am on Friday (November 19), Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “Something was lacking, 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.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday announced that the government has decided to repeal the three farm laws, which were at the centre of protests by farmers for the past year,
Modi also appealed protesting farmers to return home.
Addressing the nation on the auspicious occasion of Guru Nanak Jayanti, Modi insisted that the laws were for the benefit of farmers and then apologised to the people of the country while adding that the government could not convince a section of farmers despite its clear heart and a clean conscience.
“There may have been some shortcoming in our efforts due to which we could not explain the truth, as clear as the light of the diya, to some of our farmer brothers,” he said.
Noting that it is the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, he said it was no occasion to blame anyone.
“I have come to tell you that we have decided to repeal the three farm laws. In the upcoming Parliament session starting at the end of this month, we will complete the Constitutional process to repeal the three farm laws,” Modi said.
The goal of the three farm laws was to empower farmers, especially small farmers, the prime minister said.
He listed various steps taken by his government for the welfare of small farmers and pointed out that the agriculture budget has risen by five times with over Rs 1.25 lakh crore being spent annually.
Modi said that he had seen the challenges faced by farmers very closely in his five decades of public life and therefore when the country gave the opportunity to serve as Pradhan Sevak in 2014, he gave top priority to agriculture development and farmers welfare.
The Centre, which has held 11 rounds of formal dialogue with the farmers, had maintained that the new laws are pro-farmer, while protesters claim they would be left at the mercy of corporations because of the legislations.
The ruling BJP will hope that the decision to repeal the three laws will cancel out the political headwinds it has encountered in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, two states which are going to the polls early next year.
Many farmers had been protesting and were encamped at Delhi’s borders since November 2020 with a demand that the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 be rolled back and a new law made to guarantee MSP for crops.
(With Agency inputs)