Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi unexpectedly announced that farmers across India have protested for more than a year on the revocation of the controversial agricultural law.
“I want to tell the whole country that we have decided to abolish the Three Rural Laws,” Modi said in a televised speech on Friday that local media said “amazing.”
He added that the Indian Parliament will complete the constitutional process to abolish agricultural legislation by the end of November.
However, the Prime Minister once again defended the divided legislation, saying that the reform of the industry was actually to support the country’s smallholder farmers, which accounted for 15% of India’s $2.7 trillion economy.
Everything I do is for farmers. Everything I do is for the country.
“Maybe our efforts lack something, which is why we cannot convince some farmers to believe in the law,” Modi admitted.
The law was introduced in September last year, allowing farmers to sell their crops outside of government-regulated wholesale markets and guaranteeing the lowest prices.
The government argues that this will make them earn more, but growers worry that, on the contrary, the move will cause prices to fall and make them hostages of big companies.
Thousands of farmers joined the protest against what they called “Black Law” Some rallies became violent. A year later, many demonstrators are still camping on roads outside the capital New Delhi.
The farmers are not planning to go home yet, one of their leaders said on Twitter: “We will wait for Parliament to repeal these laws.”
Modi’s concession to the protesters may be unexpected, but it was made a few months before the elections in India’s most populous state of Uttar Pradesh and two other northern states with large rural populations.
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