Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi promises repeal of three farm laws

Monday, November 22, 2021

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in July 2021.
Image: Prime Minister's Office.

In an address to the nation on Friday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged to repeal three controversial farm laws, explaining "we have decided to repeal all three farm laws and will start the constitutional process to repeal all the three laws in the upcoming parliament sessions that starts at the end of this month".

In September 2020, President Ram Nath Kovind assented to three farming laws passed by the Parliament. Collectively known as the 2020 Indian agriculture acts, they were the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill.

The bills were passed by the Indian Parliament during the monsoon session of 2020. Some farmers in Punjab and Haryana protested the reforms, expressing strong apprehension and criticism that the new laws would disrupt the Minimum Support Price system and leave them at the "mercy" of large conglomerates.

Modi also asked the protesting farmers to desist and return to their homes. While farmers were seen celebrating after the decision of the government near the Ghazipur border, Bharatiya Kisan Union (Indian Farmers' Union) leader Rakesh Tikait declared that the farmers would continue the protests until the bills have been completely scrapped in the parliament.

The Indian National Congress, the country's main opposition party, hailed the decision of the government, with former party leader Rahul Gandhi stating "the country's farmers, through their satyagraha, made arrogance bow its head. Congratulations on the victory against injustice! Hail India, hail India’s farmers!"