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Indian Parliament passes bill to cancel debatable farm laws

  The Indian parliament passed the bill to repeal the controversial three farm laws, on the very first day of the winter session. It was earlier announced by the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi to the nation, while the ruling party helped him fulfil his promise to the farmers. The highly contentious farm law was the main focus in the parliament which saw the suspension of twelve Rajya Sabha MPs. At the same time, the opposition created an uproar while there was no discussion on the bill according to the parliament traditions. Eventually, the bill was passed to renounce the farm laws after 14 months.

One of the biggest back-trackings in the Modi-led BJP-government regime is that the farm bills had their own flaws, yet the positive outcome could not have been denied. With the ongoing farmers' movement near the capital, the central government was in a catch22 situation for months. Even after the announcement of repealing the farm bills, PM Modi expressed his sadness, as the proposed farm bills had farmers' financial betterment potential. Referring to the massive farmers' agitation, he also said that his government's repeated attempt to convince - it was in their best interest, failed finally.

Narendra Singh Tomar, the Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare placed the bill to repeal the farm laws. At the same time, the Congress-led opposition voiced their discontentment, demanding a discussion on the farmers who died in the year-long movement and to provide compensation to their families. The farm law repeal comes at a very crucial time which will dictate the political scenarios for the coming years. There are several state elections knocking at the door, where the farmers' point of view can tip the balance of power. The most notable among them, is the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly election, to take place in 2022, followed by Punjab Election.

The number of representing farmers from both Uttar Pradesh and Punjab were quite high against the farm bills movement. In reality, the farmer-led agitation in the Singhu border between Haryana and Delhi was massively supported in the Western UP region. The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leaders Rakesh Tikait and Naresh Tikait hail from the area, also belong to the Jat clan. While the Jats are traditionally strong supporter of the BJP government, the farmer unrest could have proved costly for their vote bank in the coming elections. The 2014 Lok Sabha Election and the 2017 UP assembly election showed unparalleled support for the ruling party where BJP won the majority of seats propelling them to power. There was a slight dip in the 2019 Lok Sabha election with Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party taking their shares.

Now, with the proposed Farm bills, the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) is also trying to stage a revival. Under the leadership of Jayant Singh Chaudhary, they are trying to
cash the farmers’ grievance and confusion to build their Jat vote bank. The development will continue to impact on a national scale for days to come. While the Samyusk Kisan Morcha deferred their planned tractor rally to Parliament, they stated that the protest will still endure.
According to the leaders, it is only a half-victory as they demand a Minimum Support Price (MSP) for all the crops, approving stubble burning, along with case withdrawal by all state governments and railways.
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