Other States

Repeal of farm laws: Hundreds of farmers would have been saved had PM’s decision come earlier, says Sanjay Raut

Farmers celebrate after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the repealing of the three Central farm laws, at Ghazipur Border in New Delhi, November 19, 2021   | Photo Credit: PTI

While welcoming Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s repeal of the controversial farm laws that elicited massive countrywide farmer protests, Shiv Sena MP and chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut on November 19 said that hundreds of lives would have been saved had the Government not been so adamant and had withdrawn the laws a year earlier.

The Central Government’s intransigence and apathy at the start of the protests had cost the lives of more than 400 farmers in the form of heart attacks and suicides, but the farmers triumphed in the end, said the Sena leader.

Mr. Raut, along with other leaders of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (of the Sena, the NCP and the Congress) said that the BJP’s rollback of the laws was undeniably motivated by fear of defeat in the upcoming polls in five States, particularly in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.

 

“The sands are shifting beneath the BJP's feet in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. The farmer is angry… so, the Centre may well have withdrawn their laws for fear of defeat in the upcoming Assembly polls. Yet, even though the decision is very late, the Prime Minister has nonetheless heard the voice of the country for the first time in seven years and I congratulate him on his move,” Mr. Raut said, welcoming the Prime Minister’s decision as the first real Mann Ki Baat.

The BJP's dramatic defeat in the recent byelections held in 13 States was a rude wake-up call for the party, Mr. Raut said, observing that ratcheting petrol rates were slashed for the first time following the BJP’s byelection debacle.

“Now, these contentious farm laws have been withdrawn as the BJP is alarmed that the fire of the farmers' movement can spread rapidly... Although these measures are clearly political steps, it must be appreciated that wisdom has finally dawned on the BJP,” said the Sena spokesperson, adding that the unity shown by the Opposition parties in backing the farmers was commendable.

Despite the BJP leaderships repeated attempts to discredit the farmer protests, the farmers held firm, the Sena MP said.

 

“BJP leaders were openly calling these farmers every name from ‘terrorists’, to ‘Khalistanis’ and ‘Pakistanis’ while alleging that the movement had been infiltrated by terrorists and separatists…In the end, the Union Government had to bend before the farmers' pressure,” he remarked.

NCP Minister Nawab Malik said that the reversal of farm laws sent a big message to the country that if all Opposition parties stood united, any contentious or baneful decision forced upon by the Centre could be reversed.


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Printable version | Jan 28, 2022 6:17:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/repeal-of-farm-laws-hundreds-of-farmers-would-have-been-saved-had-pms-decision-come-earlier-says-sanjay-raut/article37574872.ece

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