By Umamah Bakharia
India’s Parliament has voted to remove agricultural reform laws following a year of continues protests by farmers.
Tens of thousands of farmers have been camped out on the outskirts of the capital New Delhi for more than a year to get the Indian government to review a law that suppresses the livelihood of farmers.
Associate editor at the IANS India’s largest news agency, Nivedita Khandekar
explains why farm workers have not stopped protesting.
There are rumors that this decision was made because the government looked into the prospects for the upcoming elections and made a decision to pass the bill, says Khandekar.
Harinder Happy, spokesman for Samyukt Kisan Morcha, a coalition of more than 40 farmers’ unions says, the farmers will not call off their protest and will now push for other demands, including minimum support prices (MSPs) for crops and compensation for the families of hundreds of farmers they said died during the protests.
On 19 November, India’s Prime Minister Narendri Modi that it is ready to repeal the law to change the farmer’s conditions.
Modi’s reversal came ahead of elections for his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in states such as Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, both home to a large numbers of farmers.
The BJP already holds power in Uttar Pradesh, but its support is under pressure over a struggling economy and the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
If farmers desert the ruling party, it will not only reduce the prospects to form a state government for a second term but will also weaken chances for the party to get a majority in the 2024 national elections.
Earlier this week the bill was passed.