While farmer unions rejoiced at the news that their year-long protest is not about to end, it was the regional parties that saw an opportunity to sharpen their attacks against the BJP.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday surprised many people when he announced that the Centre will repeal the three farm laws during the winter session of Parliament. He also announced the formation of a committee to promote zero budget-based agriculture, a term for farming based on natural fertilizers and local seeds, to change crop patterns as per the changing needs of the country and to make MSP more effective and transparent.
While farmer unions rejoiced at the news that their year-long protest is not about to end, it was the regional parties that saw an opportunity to sharpen their attacks against the BJP while congratulating the farmers. Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav took to Twitter saying that the Modi government took the decision after witnessing a massive turnout in SP’s rally in Purvanchal. “The BJP of rich people tried to deceive poor farmers through its land acquisition and black laws. They implanted nails, made cartoons, mowed downs (farmers) using jeep but it took back black laws fearing the massive support that people gave to SP’s Vijay Yatra. BJP should tell that when the culprits behind the deaths of hundreds of farmers will be punished,” said Akhilesh Yadav.
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अमीरों की भाजपा ने भूमिअधिग्रहण व काले क़ानूनों से ग़रीबों-किसानों को ठगना चाहा। कील लगाई, बाल खींचते कार्टून बनाए, जीप चढ़ाई लेकिन सपा की पूर्वांचल की विजय यात्रा के जन समर्थन से डरकर काले-क़ानून वापस ले ही लिए।
भाजपा बताए सैंकड़ों किसानों की मौत के दोषियों को सज़ा कब मिलेगी।
— Akhilesh Yadav (@yadavakhilesh) November 19, 2021
TMC MP Derek O’Brien shared his old video from Parliament to drive home the point that the TMC has been opposing the farm bills. “September 20, 2020. 1.45 pm #Parliament. Minutes after #FarmLaws were bulldozed. Under the guidance and inspiration of Mamata Banerjee,” reads his tweet.
September 20, 2020
Minutes after #FarmLaws were bulldozed
Under the guidance and inspiration of @MamataOfficial
— Derek O'Brien | ডেরেক ও'ব্রায়েন (@derekobrienmp) November 19, 2021
You have the right and the numbers to have your WAY
But we have the right to have our SAY
And we will keep you on track in a Parliamentary democracy
— Derek O'Brien | ডেরেক ও'ব্রায়েন (@derekobrienmp) November 20, 2021
“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,” said West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee.
My heartfelt congratulations to every single farmer who fought relentlessly and were not fazed by the cruelty with which @BJP4India treated you. This is YOUR VICTORY!
My deepest condolences to everyone who lost their loved ones in this fight.#FarmLaws
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) November 19, 2021
Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) chief Mayawati congratulated farmers but termed the central government’s move a “very late one”. She also demanded framing a law to assure support price for farmers’ produce and financial compensation for the kin of farmers who lost their lives during the protest against the three contentious laws. Mayawati said her party had been stressing that the Centre and state governments needed to consult farmers before framing any farm law to avoid unnecessary controversies.
AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi claimed that the move was keeping in view the upcoming Uttar Pradesh and Punjab Assembly elections. He also congratulated the 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).”
The CPI(M) demanded that Modi should apologise for the hardship and trouble caused by his “dictatorial step” of enacting the three farm laws.
Shiromani Akali Dal supremo Parkash Singh Badal said it is a defining moment in history and a historic victory of farmers on Gurupurab, a day observed with reverence among sikhs in poll-bound Punjab, reported the PTI.
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.”