Farm laws go into history: PM Modi's cabinet approves to repeal the laws! What's the next step?

Days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the three contentious farm laws will be repealed, the Union Cabinet has on Wednesday approved a bill to repeal the farm laws as they are now gone into history with just one step ahead for a complete withdrawal. The farmers had recently celebrated the victory for their year-long protests after the Prime Minister announced the revocation of the laws and they had demanded the government to formally withdraw until which their agitation will continue. 

Last Friday, Modi had addressed the nation during which he announced that the three farm laws will be repealed. The contentious farm laws that were staunchly backed by the BJP and its affiliates are now going to be withdrawn by the BJP government headed by Narendra Modi. The Prime Minister assured that the farm laws will be withdrawn as soon as Parliament meets for the budget session. In his address, Narendra Modi had defended the farm laws as an attempt to help small farmers sell their produce wherever they wished to by liberalizing agricultural produce marketing. 

He said, "The decision was taken with a pure heart. Yet, there must have been some shortcoming in our devotion. This isn't a day to blame anyone. I am announcing that all three farm laws will be repealed by the government by the end of the month when Parliament meets, using all constitutional measures for the same." "I appeal to all my farmer brothers to go back home and to farming on this auspicious day", he added. The Prime Minister had also revolved around his work on the welfare of farmers, as Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and three other states are going to host crucial assembly polls next year.

He said, "When I became Prime Minister in 2014, we prioritised farmers' welfare & development... Many people are unaware of the truth that 80/100 are small scale farmers who have less than 2 hectares of land and are over 10 crores in population. This piece of land is their survival." "To ensure that farmers get the right amount for their hard work, many steps were taken. We strengthened the rural infrastructure market. We not only increased MSP but also set up record govt procurement centres. Procurement by our govt broke the record of past several decades", he added. 

While the farm laws revocation had been celebrated by the farmers as their victory for their year-long protests, the farming unions had announced that they will continue their agitation until the government formally repeals the laws in Parliament. Around 40 farmer unions have been protesting against these laws and they have been camped in Delhi. Despite the Prime Minister urging them to end the protest and go home, the unions didn't vacate Delhi and days after his announcement, Modi's cabinet has approved a bill to repeal the three farm laws.

The cabinet approval has come five days after Modi's announcement and as the next step, the new bill to repeal the farm laws will now be introduced in the Lok Sabha in the upcoming Winter session of Parliament and will be passed officially to revocate the laws. The session will be beginning on November 29. The announcement of the cabinet approval to repeal the laws was made by Union Minister Anurag Thakur. Addressing a press conference, he said, "Today, the Union Cabinet led by PM completed formalities to repeal the three Farm Laws. During the upcoming session of the Parliament, it will be our priority to take back these three laws." 

The three laws that were passed by the BJP and will be repealed by the BJP are - Farmer's Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act; The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act; and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act. These laws were passed in September last year and had sparked large-scale protests from thousands of farmers particularly from Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh. All these protesting peasants had installed temporary shelters at Delhi borders and protested against the farm laws with the sole motive of repealing them. 

As Modi's announcement was a big win for farmers, the protests are expected to come to an end after the bill to repeal the laws was passed in Lok Sabha. Congress party has welcomed the cabinet's approval of repealing the farm laws and said that the party will have some issues clarified during the Parliament session. Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal said, "It's good that Govt has come out with a bill to repeal farm laws. But there're more issues that need to be addressed, including MSP & compensation to 800 farmers who died during the agitation. We will seek clarity on these issues from Govt in Parliament." It must be noted that while the bills were passed last September, Supreme Court has stayed them in January this year.