In an unexpected move this morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his government will repeal the three farm laws that sparked major protests by farmers across the country.
In his address to the nation, on the occasion of Guru Nanak Jayanti on Friday, PM Modi announced the government will repeal the three controversial farm laws in the coming Winter session of Parliament.
"We have decided to repeal all three farm laws. We will start the constitutional process to repeal all the three laws in Parliament session that starts at the end of this month," Modi said.
Several political leaders including former Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Navjot Singh Sidhu, parties and key figures reacted soon after PM Modi announced the decision that also comes at a time when states like Uttar Pradesh and Punjab are bracing for crucial assembly elections.
Since the laws were passed in 2020, farmers' unions in several states have been protesting against them terming them pro-corporates and anti-farmers.
There have been widespread agitations with farmers camping at Delhi borders for several months now. Hundreds of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and UP, have lost their lives during the more than a year long agitation.
Several petitions challenging the laws were filed in the Supreme Court. Failing to resolve the impasse, the SC in January had stayed the implementation of the farm laws till further orders. Here's a timeline of events:
June 5, 2020: The Modi government promulgated three farm bills.
September 14, 2020: An ordinance in connection with the bills was brought to Parliament.
September 17, 2020: Lok Sabha passed the ordinance.
September 20, 2020: Rajya Sabha too cleared the ordinance.
September 24, 2020: Several farm unions in Punjab launched a three-day 'rail roko' campaign against the laws.
September 25, 2020: Nationwide protests begin in response to a call by the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee.
September 27, 2020: President gives his assent to the three farm bills, notifies them as laws.
November 25, 2020: After a nationwide road blockade on November 3, farmers’ unions start the 'Delhi Chalo' movement.
November 26, 2020: Police use water cannons, tear gas as farmers try to enter Delhi. Later, they were allowed to conduct a peaceful protest at Delhi's Nirankari Ground.
November 28, 2020: Home Minister Amit Shah offers to hold talks with farmers.
December 3, 2020: Government holds the first round of talks with farmers' representatives. However, a solution couldn't be reached.
December 5, 2020: The two sides couldn't agree upon a solution during the second round of talks as well.
December 8, 2020: Farmers give a Bharat Bandh call against the laws.
December 11, 2020: Farmers' body -- Bharatiya Kisan Union -- moved the Supreme Court against the three farm laws.
December 21, 2020: Farmers hold a one-day hunger strike at all protest sites.
December 30, 2020: Centre agrees to exempt farmers from stubble burning penalty and drop changes in Electricity Amendment Bill, 2020.
January 7, 2021: Supreme Court agrees to hear petitions challenging the farm laws.
January 11, 2021: The top court criticises the Centre’s handling of the farmers’ protest.
January 12, 2021: The Supreme Court puts a stay on the three farm laws.
January 26, 2021: Farmers gather at the Red Fort and clash with the police, demanding the government to repeal the laws.
January 28-February 4, 2021: Several international and national celebrities -- including pop icon Rihanna, climate activist Greta Thunberg, lawyer-author Meena Harris, niece of US Vice President Kamala Harris, Diljit Dosanjh, and others – speak out against the farm laws.
February 5, 2021: The cyber-crime cell of Delhi Police files an FIR under the charges of “sedition”, “criminal conspiracy” and “promoting hatred” against the creators of a toolkit on farmer protests, which was shared by Thunberg.
February 14, 2021: Delhi Police arrests 21-year-old climate activist Disha Ravi for allegedly “editing” the toolkit shared by Thunberg.
February 23, 2021: Disha Ravi is granted bail by a sessions court in Delhi.
March 05, 2021: The Punjab Vidhan Sabha passes a resolution asking the Centre for the unconditional withdrawal of the farm laws.
May 27, 2021: Farmers observe 'Black Day' to mark six months of the agitation.
August 7, 2021: Leaders of 14 opposition parties hold discussions on farm laws at the Parliament House.
August 28, 2021: Haryana Police cracks down on farmers in Karnal, leaving several injured in a baton charge.
September 5, 2021: Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait holds a show of strength in Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar.
November 13, 2021: To mark the completion of one year of protest, Rakesh Tikait asks farm unions to prepare for a large-scale demonstration on November 26.
November 19, 2021: Prime Minister Narendra Modi announces the decision yo repeal three controversial farm laws, says the purpose of the laws was to strengthen and empower farmers with small landholdings. The PM also urged the agitating farmers to go back home and start 'afresh'.