India’s Parliament abolishes Farm Reform Act after years of protest


India’s Parliament has resolved to abolish agricultural reforms that have caused a year-long protest by farmers following a surprising decision by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to withdraw a law that was considered a rare withdrawal by the Prime Minister. bottom.

On November 29, in response to a request for debate from opponents, the two houses passed a bill to withdraw three laws by voice vote on the first day of Congress’s resumption of the winter legislative session.

Parliamentary leaders at Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury questioned the government’s move without parliamentary debate.

“Why can’t we argue when it’s listed as the price and passage of the bill? The government has passed and abolished the bill without any discussion since 2014. You’re in this house. I got on the train, “Chowdhury reported. India Express.

Mallikarjun Kharge, the leader of the opposition in Rajya Sabha, said the opposition Indian National Congress supported the abolition bill, but the government took a year and three months to withdraw the law.

Kage accused the government of abolishing the law for the upcoming elections.

Epoch Times Photo
The demonstrator will participate in a march organized to support farmers protesting the central government’s agricultural reforms in New Delhi, India, on February 3, 2021. (MoneySharma / AFP)

Laws approved by Parliament last September include the Farmers’Agricultural Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Promotion) Act, the Farmers’ (Authorization and Protection) Price Guarantee and Agricultural Services Act, and the Mandatory Commodity (Amendment) Act. .. ..

The government initially argued that legislation that paved the way for deregulated markets and strengthened the control of the private sector in agriculture was urgently needed to modernize India’s agriculture.

Farmers began protesting three regulations in Punjab last July, fearing that reforms would lower crop prices. Climate change activist Greta Thunberg and pop artist Rihanna have also been paying attention to state-wide protests.

On January 26, India Day, when thousands of farmers destroyed barricades, drove tractors through obstacles, overwhelmed police and attacked New Delhi’s historic Red Fort. , The protests have changed drastically.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi makes a gesture to address at a public conference prior to the Assam Legislative Elections in Bokahat, India, on March 21, 2021. (BijuBoro / AFP via Getty Images)

Modi made the biggest policy shift on November 19 when he announced in a national speech on television that the government had abolished the law and asked farmers to return home and “start anew.” ..

The abolition bill must be signed by President Ram Nath Kovind before it is officially implemented. But the farmers said their demonstrations would continue.

Just last week, thousands of delighted farmers in tractors, jeep and cars waved green and white flags along the highway surrounding New Delhi to celebrate their victory, but the government requested them. It was revealed that it did not meet all.

Rakesh Tikait, a top farmer leader, said the government needs to guarantee guaranteed prices for certain essential crops such as wheat and rice. This is a system introduced by India in the 1960s to strengthen food stocks and prevent shortages.

Tikite urged the government to set up a committee to resolve these demands before farmers considered ending the protest.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

Aldograph Redley