India To Repeal Controversial Farm Laws That Led To Protests

Farmers protested for a year, arguing the laws would devastate their earnings by ending guaranteed pricing.
Farmers protesting against contentious agriculture laws block trains for six hours in Bahadur Garh on the outskirts of New Delhi. The farmers were also protesting against recent killing of four farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri.
Farmers protesting against contentious agriculture laws block trains for six hours in Bahadur Garh on the outskirts of New Delhi. The farmers were also protesting against recent killing of four farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri.
AP Photo/Manish Swarup

NEW DELHI (AP) — India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his government will withdraw the controversial farm laws that prompted year-long protests from tens of thousands of farmers who said the laws will shatter their livelihoods.

Modi made the surprise announcement during a televised speech on Friday that was broadcast live.

The laws were passed in September last year and the government had defended them, saying they were necessary to modernize India’s agricultural sector and will boost production through private investment. But the farmers protested, saying the laws will devastate their earnings by ending guaranteed pricing and force them to sell their crops to corporations at cheaper prices.

The demonstrations have posed one of the biggest political challenges to Modi, who swept polls for the second time in 2019.

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