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India PM Narendra Modi repeals controversial farm laws

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

Thousands of farmers have been camping at Delhi’s borders since last November, protesting against the reforms.

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

Several rounds of talks with the government over the past few months failed as ministers insisted that laws were good for farmers.

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

The surprise announcement on Friday morning came on a day Sikhs – the dominant community is Punjab – are celebrating the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism.

Modi said the new farm laws were meant to strengthen the small farmers. “But despite several attempts to explain the benefits to the farmers, we have failed. On the occasion of Guru Purab, the government has decided to repeal the three farm laws,” he added.

Rakesh Tikait, one of the most prominent farmer leaders, said they would stop their protest movement only after the government repealed the laws in the parliament. (BBC News)

Friday, November 19, 2021 – 11:02

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