Press Trust of india

Repeal of farm laws: Opposition parties hail victory of farmers

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New Delhi: Opposition parties on Friday congratulated the farmers of the country on the Centre’s announcement to repeal the three farm laws while taking a swipe at the government, saying the “fear of defeat” in the upcoming assembly elections has forced the BJP take the decision.

The parties also said that the decision has come in late and had the Modi government shed its “arrogance earlier” and repealed the laws opposed by farmers, a number of precious lives lost during the nearly year-long agitation could have been saved.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in an address to the nation of Gurupurab, announced that the government has decided to repeal the three farm laws, which were at the centre of protests by farmers for the past year.

The Congress said people of the country now know that the country’s victory now lies ahead of the BJP’s defeat as fear of defeat in upcoming assembly polls has forced Prime Minister Modi to take back his decision and announce the repeal of three farm laws.

The opposition party also described the Centre’s announcement to repeal three farm laws as a victory against injustice, and said arrogance had to bow its head before the peaceful ‘satyagrah’ of farmers.

Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi said the “Country’s ‘annadatas’ (food providers) have made arrogance bow its head through satyagraha.”

“Congratulations on this victory against injustice! ‘Jai Hind, Jai Hind ka Kisan’,”  Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi.

Congratulating farmers for their relentless fight against three new farm laws, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said they were not fazed by the “cruelty” of the BJP.

“My heartfelt congratulations to every single farmer who fought relentlessly and were not fazed by the cruelty with which BJP treated you. This is your victory! My deepest condolences to everyone who lost their loved ones in this fight,” Banerjee wrote on Twitter.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, while welcoming the announcement, said it is not just a victory of farmers but also of democracy.

“This golden day will be written in the pages of history like August 15 and January 26. The Centre bowed down to farmers. This is not just the victory of farmers but also the victory of democracy. This victory proves no matter which party or leader is there, your ego will not stand before people,” he said.

“This was independence struggle for them,” he added.

Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav charged it is the fear of election defeat that the BJP has been forced to take this decision.

“Apology will not help this time. The people understand everything and will teach the BJP a lesson,” he said.

BSP president Mayawati congratulated farmers but termed the Central government’s move a “very late one.”

“The sacrifices of the farmers have paid off. The government in the end withdrew the three controversial laws though it is too late,” she said.

Taking a dig at the government, National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah said, “Anyone who believes the government repealed the #FarmLaws out of the goodness of its heart is completely mistaken. This government only responds to cold hard numbers – bypoll setback = fuel price reduction. Poor internal polls numbers for Western UP and Punjab = #Farmlawsrepealed.”

Hailing the Centre’s announcement to repeal farm laws as a victory of farmers, SAD supremo Parkash Singh Badal said it is “a defining moment in history and a historic victory of farmers on Gurupurab”.

“It was for the first time in the history of democratic governments that brazen and cruel laws were made without even taking the stakeholders on board. No government should ever do such an insensitive and cruel thing again,” he asserted.

AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said the farmers’ movement succeeded due to the persistence of the peasants.

“Impending elections and protest movements can force PM to rethink. He’s never beaten a peoples’ movement, just managed to harass. Anti-CAA movement ensured that talks of national NRC were shelved; CAA rules yet to be made. Farmers movement succeeded due to their persistence,” he said.

Welcoming the decision, the Shiv Sena and the NCP, which share power in Maharashtra, said the government had to finally bow down before the agitating farmers.

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said, “For the first time, PM Modi has expressed the ‘mann ki baat’ of people. BJP leaders were openly calling these farmers Khalistanis and Pakistanis, but the Union government had to bow before the farmers’ pressure.”

Nawab Malik, chief spokesperson of the NCP, said in a tweet, “Jhukati hai duniya, jhukane wala chahiye” (The world bows, we need the one who can make it happen).

“In last seven years, PM Modi never spoke with any opposition leader or farmer leader regarding the three farm laws. Now, they have realised that a major political change is taking place in the country and its indications could be seen in Uttar Pradesh elections next year,” he said.

The CPI(M) demanded that Prime Minister Modi should apologise for the hardship and trouble caused by his “dictatorial step” of enacting the three farm laws.

“‘The quest for justice for those ‘targeted’ by the government and its agencies through ‘false’ cases will continue. The PM must apologise for the hardship and trouble caused by his ‘dictatorial’ step of farm laws to ‘benefit his crony business partners’,” CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury in a tweet.

The victory of farmers is the victory of the country, Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Jayant Chaudhary said.

TMC’s national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee said the “farmers’ long and arduous struggle, their grit and determination against all adversities has shown the BJP their true place”.

Congress general secretary and chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala charged that the BJP’s “fear of defeat” in the upcoming state assembly polls has forced Modi to take back his decision on three farm laws.

He demanded that the prime minister apologise to the farmers for the “pain” inflicted on them.

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