In a major announcement ahead of a slew of state elections next year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said his government would withdraw the three farm laws that had triggered massive protests by farmers across India.
Farmers from Haryana, Punjab and some parts of Uttar Pradesh have been camped at Delhi borders for almost a year now, demanding that the government withdraw the three laws — The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020.
The Supreme Court had stayed the implementation of the three laws in January this year, but farmer unions haven’t budged from protest sites like Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur at the Delhi border. The Centre, which had held 11 rounds of formal dialogues with the farmers, had maintained that the new laws are pro-farmer, while protesters claimed they would be left at the mercy of corporations.
Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait had threatened to intensify the agitation on November 26, marking one year since the protest started, if the laws weren’t withdrawn by then.
Here’s a look at the top statements made by PM Narendra Modi in his address announcing the withdrawal of the contentious farm laws:
– Today, I apologise if some farmers did not understand what we wanted to do through the farm laws. We have decided to repeal the three farm laws. We will withdraw all these three bills in the upcoming Parliament session
– Today, on Gurupurab, I request all farmers to return to their homes and farms… I shall never stop from doing good work. What I did was for the country, what I will do will be for my country. Trust me, I will work more so that your dreams can come true.
– I have seen the struggles of farmers very closely, and that is why Krishi Vikas Yojana was given so much importance. Around 80% farmers in India have less than two hectares of land. This piece of land is the source of livelihood for them.
– We are doing our best to help and support farmers. The three farm laws were brought in specially to support small farmers. So that they get more options and better price for their produce. Every farmer in the country and kisan organisations welcomed the farm laws. I thank all of them today.
– Our intent was pure. But we could not convince some farmers. We tried our best to explain these laws to the farmers. We spoke, we discussed and we tried to convince them. The government was ready to rework these laws. A lot has happened in two years…
– We are working on changing the crop pattern. We have made a committee, comprising the Centre, agri experts and farmers to work towards benefitting the farming community.