This comes almost one year after farmers sat in protest against the three controversial legislations in Delhi and across the country. The prime minister said that the laws will be repealed by the end of the month in the Winter Session of Parliament.
In a historic decision, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday announced that the Centre will repeal all three farm laws and requested the protesting farmers to return back to their homes. This comes almost one year after farmers sat in protest against the three controversial farm laws in Delhi and across the country. Modi said that the laws will be repealed by the end of the month in the Winter Session of Parliament.
The announcement comes on Gurpurab, when Sikhism founder Guru Nanak's birth anniversary is celebrated.
"A majority of farmers are small scale farmers. And to help them, we took on a multi-faceted approach from seed technology, crop insurance schemes. We brought in the three farm bills for the benefit of small farmers, many farmers across the nation have welcomed it. I am thankful to them," the prime minister said.
Modi highlighted that three farm laws were brought to empower and strengthen small farmers, adding that it was a demand by farmers, economists and agricultural experts.
The prime minister said that the BJP-led Centre has not been able to convince farmers, and stressed that a section of them continued opposing even when the government tried to educate and inform them.
"We tried our best to explain to farmers. We were even ready to modify the laws, suspend them too. The matter reached the Supreme Court as well," he added.
"One lakh crore have been given to farmers as compensation. Bima and pension to have been provided. There has been direct benefit transfer as well for the farmers," he added.
The government has also decided to implement Zero Budget Natural Farming, to make MSP more efficient and address other issues. "A committee to be formed which will comprise, Centre, State representatives, farmers, scientists, economists. Our government will continue to work for farmers," the prime minister added.
BJP's national general secretary immediately after the announcement took to Twitter to praise Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying that 'history will always mark this sentence'.
'Will not withdraw protest immediately ': Farmers
In the first reactions from the farmers, farm leader Rakesh Tikat who emerged as the face of the demonstration, tweeted that the farmers would not withdraw their agitation immediately and would continue till the laws are repealed in the Parliament.
"Along with MSP, the government should also discuss other issues of farmers," Tikat said in a tweet in Hindi.
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Kisan Union's (BKU) Ugrahan faction welcomed the prime minister's announcement to repeal the three contentious farm laws.
"It is a good move by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of Gurupurab," Joginder Singh Ugrahan, the leader of BKU's Ugrahan faction, told PTI.
On the prime minister's appeal to protesting farmers to return to their homes, Ugrahan said, "Farmers' unions will sit together and decide the future course of action."
BKU(Ugrahan) is the largest among all protesting farmers unions and are protesting at the Tikri border. Ugrahan faction of the BKU has a sizeable presence across Punjab.
Former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his announcement.
Various farmers unions have been protesting at the borders of the national capital since last year to demand repeal of three farm laws.
The three laws — Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020; and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 — got the nation divided, leading to farmer-led agitations across the country for the past one year.
The farmers' main apprehension was that the laws will eventually abolish the Minimum Support Price (MSP) guaranteed by the Centre on select crops, leaving them at the mercy of big corporate houses.