Punjab’s chief minister, Captain Amarinder Singh, in a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asked him to start the process of repealing controversial agricultural laws, which farmers have been protesting for a year. Mr Singh also asked Prime Minister Modi to change the relevant law to include farmers in the free legal aid category.
Singh, who tonight summoned Prime Minister Modi, handed over two separate letters calling for an immediate review and repeal of the three agricultural laws that had sparked “widespread resentment” among farmers in Punjab and other states who have been protesting along the Delhi border since last November. year.
Referring to the protracted agitation that had cost the lives of more than 400 farmers and farm workers, the prime minister said the protest had the potential to pose security threats to Punjab and the country with Pakistani-backed anti-Indian forces seeking were exploiting the farmers’ displeasure with the government,” the Punjab government said in a statement.
“…The ongoing agitation not only affected economic activity in Punjab but also had the potential to affect the social fabric, especially when political parties and groups take strong positions,” Mr Singh said.
The government has held several rounds of talks with farmers’ unions and has ruled out repealing the laws, but has reaffirmed that it is open to changes.
The farmers say they will accept nothing less than for the government to cancel the laws, which they believe will destroy their guaranteed income and benefit businesses. They have refused to believe the central government’s argument that the laws will bring long-delayed reforms to the agricultural sector by eliminating middlemen and allowing farmers to sell all over the country.