Earlier this morning, the country was sent into a tizzy after PM Modi, during his address to the nation, said that by the end of this month, the central government would complete the process of repealing the three farm laws. He then appealed to the protesting farmers and middlemen to return to their homes on this Gurupurab and stop their protest. He further said that the government will form a committee to formulate laws for the benefit of the farmers.
He further said that the government had introduced the laws after due deliberation but perhaps it was the shortcoming of the government that they could not convince all farmers that the laws were indeed in their benefit. Further, he said that the past governments had deliberated on these laws as well but it was the Modi government that had implemented them.
He said that all his decisions were in the interest of the nation and he will continue to work for the benefit of the nation.
The announcement sparked a panoply of emotions, with many hailing the government’s decision of heeding to the farmers’ protests while others criticised it for caving in to the bullying tactics adopted by a section of farmers, who were vehemently opposed to the farm laws that were aimed at modernising agriculture sector.
BJP Punjab Unit backs PM Modi’s announcement, says attempt to drive a wedge between Sikhs and Hindus foiled
Ashwini Sharma, state president of BJP Punjab, said he is happy with the decision taken by the Modi government. Lavishing praises on PM Modi, Sharma, who spoke to OpIndia, said such a decision of repealing farm laws could have been taken only by an empathetic leader like PM Modi. Sharma said PM Modi’s announcement to withdraw the farm laws will help in fostering social harmony and foil the plans of those who wanted to drive a wedge between different communities and foment trouble in Punjab.
BJP Punjab has welcomed the rollback of the farm laws, stating that though the bills were aimed at uplifting the lives of the farmers, they could not succeed in convincing a section of protesters about the advantages that farm laws will bring for the farmers. BJP Punjab spokesperson Anil Sarin hailed PM Modi’s announcement and said it was taken in the larger interest of the country.
“We welcome the decision taken by PM Modi and the central government. There is not a shred of doubt that the agriculture bills were beneficials to the farmers, but unfortunately, we could not succeed in convincing a small section of protesters about their benefits. We are grateful that PM Modi announced withdrawal of the laws in the larger interest of the country,” Sarin told OpIndia.
BJP leaders in Punjab welcome PM Modi’s declaration on agriculture bills, suggest it might bridge dissensions between Hindus and Sikhs
Some leaders provided context to the decision taken by the Prime Minister to do away with the farm laws. BJP MLA from Abohar, Arun Narang, who had himself endured the wrath of lumpen elements present in the farmers’ protest earlier this year, spoke to OpIndia about the announcement made by PM Modi on Friday morning. He said the invalidation of three laws would help bridge the fissures that erupted following the protests organised by some sections of farmers after the laws were passed last year.
On March 27, anti-farm law protestors in Punjab attacked BJP MLA from Abohar, Arun Narang. They thrashed him and tore off his clothes. The visuals of the incident that took place in Malout town, district Muktsar, Punjab, had gone viral on social media platforms. Police and BJP workers present at the scene somehow managed to save him. Despite his past experience, Narang held no resentment against the farmers and welcomed the decision taken by the government to rescind the farm laws.
The decision would benefit Punjab and the nation and he welcomes the decision. He said that as the PM said, a committee would be formed to formulate further laws and we should trust the PM. On being asked if he believes that this move is one that would strengthen violent elements, he said that the BJP government is not arrogant to not listen to the voice of the people.
In a democracy, the people are supreme and they had to be flexible to the demands of the people, Narang insisted. He said it would also prove to be a slap on the face of such Congress leaders who are inciting trouble as it proves that the Modi government is a government for the people and one that listens to the voice of the common man.
Like Narang, BJP leader Harjeet Singh Garewal was also at the receiving end of farmers’ ire earlier this year when his farm was uprooted by a mob of angry protesters demonstrating against the farm laws. But Garewal, too, had no ill-feelings towards the protesters, and hailed PM Modi’s decision of taking back the agriculture reform bills.
Speaking to OpIndia, Garewal said, “I welcome the decision taken by the government. Though the farm laws were in favour of the government, and which were also praised by Mr Swaminathan who said the laws contained 80 per cent of his committee’s recommendations, the government took them back. This is the beauty of democracy. You have gotta to be considerate of others and take into account their disapproval, however misguided that may be. But people should also respect democracy.”
Praveen Bansal, state vice-president of BJP Punjab, it is a momentous decision taken by PM Modi, given that there was a chunk of farmers who was opposed to the farm laws. The rollback of the laws demonstrates that the country’s Prime Minister is empathetic and considerate of those who were not comfortable with the passage of the agriculture reform laws.
“We welcome the decision. It shows that the Prime Minister is considerate of the obje ction to the farm laws. It also displays that the government wants to work for farmers’ benefits. The Centre will have discussions with the farmers for alleviating their problems,” Bansal told OpIndia when asked about his views on the rollback of the farm laws.
“Captain Amarinder Singh has won and state BJP has lost today”: BJP State Secretary Sukhpal Singh Sran slams withdrawal of farm laws
However, there were naysayers too, who were not happy with PM Modi’s decision of repealing the three laws and they made no bones about in their interview with OpIndia. Sukhpal Singh Sran, State Secretary, BJP expressed his intense displeasure at the laws being repealed. He said that if they had to repeal these laws they should not have passed them in the first place. “The farm laws were passed in a hurry and have been repealed in a hurry as well”, he said.
In a strong democracy led by a strong Prime Minister, this is not the way things should be done. They should not capitulate to a party that has not given anything to the country in the last 70 years. If they wanted to repeal, they should have done it much earlier. This is an injustice to BJP workers who have handled the ire of these elements”, he said.
On being asked if the Modi government would bring back the farm laws later, he said that he was not very hopeful. “I don’t think any step for the benefit of the farmers will be taken anymore. If PM Modi could not do it, who will? Nobody else has the intent that he does. The people will not find a more honest PM than him. If he could not do it, nobody will be able to do it”.
He told OpIndia that he wants his statement to be published in full because he is not bothered about the party but the country. “Captain Amarinder has won and state BJP has lost today”, he said. “I am more bothered about BJP workers than the party. Today, in Punjab the situation is such that even daughters of BJP leaders are being ostracised. Nobody wants to marry our daughters. They should have spoken to the workers first. They should have spoken to the workers before making the laws or repealing the laws. If the party worker is with them, they had nothing to worry about. But today, the party leaders are not with the party workers at all”, he added.