President Ram Nath Kovind has signed a bill to cancel three controversial farm laws, against which farmers - especially from Haryana, Punjab and western Uttar Pradesh - have been protesting for a year.
The bill to cancel the three farm laws was passed in record time in both houses of parliament on the first day of the winter session on Monday. The farm laws repeal bill was passed in Lok Sabha within four minutes amid opposition demands for a discussion.
In Rajya Sabha, it was passed after a short discussion.
Three controversial farm laws at the heart of massive farmer protests across the country for over a year was withdrawn by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 19 in a stunning announcement just months before elections in states like Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.
Before the big climb-down, the Prime Minister defended the laws saying they were meant as reforms, mainly for small and marginal farmers in the country. "Whatever I did was for farmers. What I am doing is for the country," he said.
Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan have been camping outside Delhi since November 2020, demanding that the "black laws" be withdrawn. The BJP has faced massive anger in northern states, something it cannot afford as it preps for big elections ahead, including the 2024 national polls.
The opposition and farmers accuse the government of railroading the three laws through parliament without much discussion. The government said the laws would remove middlemen and improve farmers' earnings by allowing them to sell anywhere in the country. Farmers argued that the laws would expose them to unfair competition, leave them at the mercy of corporates and deprive them of the guaranteed price for their produce.