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Article

19 Nov 2021

Author:
BBC

India: Controversial farm laws repealed after a year of farmer protests

Indian farmers march to Delhi to protest agricultural reform law, 2020

"Farm laws: India PM Narendra Modi repeals controversial reforms", 19 November 2021

Indian PM Narendra Modi has announced the repeal of three controversial farm laws after a year of protests.

Thousands of farmers had camped at Delhi's borders since last November and dozens died from heat, cold and Covid.

Farmers say the laws will allow the entry of private players in farming and that will hurt their income.

Friday's surprise announcement marks a major U-turn as the government had not taken any initiative to talk to farmers in recent months.

And Mr Modi's ministers have been steadfastly insisting that the laws were good for farmers and there was no question of taking them back.

Farm unions are seeing this as a huge victory. But experts say the upcoming state elections in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh - both have a huge base of farmers - may have forced the decision...

Farmers in Punjab and Haryana are celebrating the news, raising flags of victory and distributing sweets. But they say the fight is not over.

"We have no faith in a verbal promise. Unless we see it in writing that the laws have actually been repealed, we will stay here," Raj Singh Chaudhary, a 99-year-old protester, told the BBC's Salman Ravi...

His view was echoed by Rakesh Tikait, a prominent farmer leader who said they would call off the protest only after the laws were repealed in the winter session of parliament.

Another farmer leader said they needed additional promises from the government around assured prices for their crops to end their protest...

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