‘Govt had good intentions in bringing law’
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narnedra Modi took the nation by surprise on Friday as he announced that the three controversial farm laws would be repealed, evoking reactions from all quarters, with most welcoming the decision.
The farmer groups, which have been protesting against the law under the banner of Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), took a cautious approach and said they would wait and watch till the process of repealing the laws is completed.
The Prime Minister announced that the legislation would be repealed in the upcoming Winter Session of Parliament.
Several Opposition parties, which have been supporting the ryots’ protests, called it a victory for the farmers, while some also said the decision was motivated by upcoming polls in five states, which includes Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, where the agitations were going strong.
On the occasion of Gurupurab, Modi in an address to the nation, gave details of the steps taken by the Union government for the welfare of farmers, and said the new Farm Laws were among those steps, aimed at the welfare of farmers, particularly small farmers.
He also expressed regret that the government could not reach out to “a section of farmers,” who were agitating against the law for over a year now.
“Today, I have come to tell the whole country that we have decided to withdraw all three agricultural laws. In the Parliament session starting later this month, we will complete the constitutional process to repeal these three agricultural laws,” the Prime Minister announced.
The Prime Minister said the government had good intentions in bringing the law.
“…such a sacred thing, absolutely pure, a matter of farmers’ interest, we could not explain to some farmers despite our efforts. Agricultural economists, scientists, progressive farmers also tried their best to make them understand the importance of agricultural laws,” he said.
The SKM, meanwhile, said it would wait and watch for now and blamed the government for farmers’ deaths during the course of the agitation, and also mentioned the deaths at Lakhimpur Kheri.
“Samyukt Kisan Morcha welcomes this decision and will wait for the announcement to take effect through due parliamentary procedures. If this happens, it will be a historic victory of the one-year-long farmers’ struggle in India,” the SKM said.
The statement also reminded the Prime Minister that the agitation of farmers is not just for the repeal of three black laws, but also for a statutory guarantee of remunerative prices for all agricultural produce and for all farmers.
The Prime Minister’s announcement was immediately welcomed by former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh, who recently launched his own party after parting ways with
Congress, and has said he would fight polls in Punjab along with BJP.
“Great News! Thankful to PM for accepting to the demands of every Punjabi and repealing the three black laws on pious occasion of Guru Nanak Jayanti. I am sure the central government will continue to work in tandem for the development of Kisan,” Amarinder tweeted.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath thanked the Prime Minister and called it a ‘historic day’.
“Government’s attempt to establish a dialogue at all levels did not yield any result hence it was withdrawn,” he said.
Opposition Congress leader Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter shortly after PM’s 9 am announcement, and called it a victory of the ‘farmers’ satyagraha’.
“With their ‘satyagraha’, the ‘annadata’ of this country made the arrogant bow down.
Congratulations on this victory against injustice! Jai Hindi, Jai Hindi’s farmers,” Gandhi said in a tweet with the hashtag ‘Farmers’ Protest’.
He also posted his earlier tweets from January, where he said, “Mark my words, the government will have to take back the anti-farm laws.”
West Bengal Chief Minister and AITC supremo Mamata Banerjee congratulated the farmers and said, “This is your victory.”
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also hailed the farmers after the PM’s decision and said the coming generations will remember how the farmers of this country put their lives on the line to save their livelihood.
Communist Party of India-Marxist General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said the whole credit for the repeal of laws goes to the farmers, and slammed the Prime Minister for still defending the “black laws”.
“Modi expresses no remorse over the deaths of our annadatas due to his year-long obduracy. Modi continues to justify these black laws even now! Refuses to learn from this historic, spirited, inspiring and brave struggle,” he said.
Farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at several Delhi borders since November 26, 2020, demanding a complete repeal of three farm laws and a legal guarantee on minimum support price (MSP) for their crops. (UNI