The country’s President Ram Nath Kovind signed a bill repealing the laws late Wednesday, after it was passed by the House and Senate earlier this week.
Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has insisted on reforms that will modernize India’s agricultural system. However, farmers say it can expose them to exploitation and destroy their livelihoods.
In the past, farmers had to auction their goods, where they got at least the government’s agreed-upon minimum support price (MSP) for some of their crops. The new laws are intended to relax the rules around the sale and pricing of agricultural products in order to protect farmers from the unregulated free market.
For more than a year, farmers have camped on the outskirts of India’s capital to protest the law, arguing that market forces will push prices even lower and that it will be difficult for smaller farmers to negotiate deals. beneficial to giant corporations.
Protests continue as farmers say they have a list of other unmet requirements, including the right to a legally minimum support price for their entire crop. and more government support.
In India, agriculture is a political issue and the protests pose a rare challenge to the BJP.
India’s seven states will hold elections early next year to determine if the BJP can stay in power. Modi’s ruling party now governs six of the seven states, including the predominantly agricultural Uttar Pradesh.
Farmers are the largest voting bloc in the country – the agricultural sector maintains about 58% of India’s 1.3 billion citizens. The angry group could see Modi losing a sizable number of votes.
In a speech to the nation on November 19, Modi said he would repeal the laws.
“Today I come to tell you, the whole country, that we have decided to withdraw all three agricultural laws,” Modi said, acknowledging the importance of farmers and the challenges they face. face.