Samyukt Kisan Morcha said that it welcomed this decision and will wait for the announcement to take effect through due parliamentary procedures.

A file photo of farmers protesting against the three farm laws of the Union government in New DelhiFile photo: PTI
news Farm laws Friday, November 19, 2021 - 10:46

Welcoming the Union government's decision to repeal three farm laws, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of over 40 farm unions that was spearheading the farmers' agitation against the three contentious laws, said that they will wait for the announcement to take effect through due parliamentary procedures. In a statement, the SKM said, "The Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi announced the Government of India's decision to repeal all three anti-farmer, pro-corporate black laws first brought in as Ordinances in June 2020. He chose to announce this on Guru Nanak Jayanti. Samyukt Kisan Morcha welcomes this decision and will wait for the announcement to take effect through due parliamentary procedures," the statement said.

It further said, "SKM also reminds the Prime Minister that the agitation of farmers is not just against the repeal of the three black laws, but also for a statutory guarantee to remunerative prices for all agricultural produce and for all farmers. This important demand of farmers is still pending. SKM will take note of all developments, hold its meeting soon and announce further decisions if any."

The Bharatiya Kisan Union's (BKU) Ugrahan faction on Friday, November 19, also welcomed the move. In his address to the nation on the occasion of Guru Nanak Jayanti, PM Modi said the three farm laws will be repealed in the coming Winter session of Parliament.

"It is a good move by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of Gurupurab," Joginder Singh Ugrahan, the leader of BKU's Ugrahan faction, told PTI. On the Prime Minister's appeal to protesting farmers to return to their homes, Ugrahan said, "Farmers' unions will sit together and decide the future course of action."

Read: Big win for farmers, Union govt to repeal all three farm laws

BKU (Ugrahan) is the largest among the all protesting farmers unions and are protesting at the Tikri border. The Ugrahan faction of the BKU has a sizable presence across Punjab. BKU leader Rakesh Tikait took to Twitter and said, "The agitation will not be withdrawn immediately. We will wait for the day when agricultural laws will be repealed in Parliament. Along with MSP, the government should also discuss other issues of farmers."

Many farmers had been protesting and were encamped at Delhi's borders since November 2020 with a demand that the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, Farmers' (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 be rolled back and a new law made to guarantee MSP for crops.

Meanwhile, former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his announcement that the government has decided to repeal the Centre's three farm laws. "Great news! Thankful to PM @narendramodi ji for acceding to the demands of every punjabi & repealing the 3 black laws on the pious occasion of #GuruNanakJayanti. I am sure the central govt will continue to work in tandem for the development of Kisani! #NoFarmers_NoFood @AmitShah (sic)," Singh said in a tweet.

Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu said that repealing the 'black' laws is a step in the right direction. The Congress was, however, quick to term it as 'a decision taken in view of the forthcoming elections'.

Former Union Minister P Chidambaram said, "PM's announcement on the withdrawal of the three farm laws is not inspired by a change of policy or a change of heart. It is impelled by fear of elections!"

"What cannot be achieved by democratic protests can be achieved by the fear of impending elections! Anyway, it is a great victory for the farmers and for the Congress party which was unwavering in its opposition to the farm laws," he added. Many leaders took to social media. 

The government decision comes ahead of the state polls which are slated early next year in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, which have a sizable population of farmers. In the recent setback in the bye-polls, the government, which was advocating the benefits of three laws, decided to withdraw it.

With IANS and PTI inputs