Timeline: Centre to repeal farm laws after a year
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday announced the scrapping of three farm laws, which triggered protests by the farmers. Addressing the nation, the Prime Minister said that his government has always worked for the welfare of the farmers.
Hailing the laws as pathbreaking for the agriculture sector, PM Modi said multiple rounds of talk were held to end farmers' protest but a section refused to budge.
He also urged the farmers to now end their protest and head home.
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The farmer organisations, which have been sitting at Delhi's borders, welcomed the move but did not vow to end the protest immediately. The farmer leaders said their movement will end only when these laws are actually repealed.
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The protest is being led by Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella organisation of more than 30 farmer unions, and other independent bodies.
Here's a timeline of the passage and protest over farm laws:
June 2020: The three farm laws - Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act - were first introduced as ordinances. Farmers oppose the ordinances as launch protest in Punjab.
September 2020: Parliament passes the farm laws - by Lok Sabha on September 17 and Rajya Sabha (by voice vote) on September 20. President Ram Nath Kovind gives his assent on September 27. Farmers' protests grow, 'Rail Roko' held in Punjab.
October 2020: Supreme Court hears petition challenging constitutional validity of the three laws and seeks Centre' response. The petition filed by Congress and other opposition parties. Government calls farmer unions for conference on October 8, but the demand is rejected. The first round of talks is held on October 14.
November 2020: Second round of talks held on November 13, but remain inconclusive. Farmers call for taking the protest on a bigger stage. A majority of protesters begin their "Dill Chalo" march on November 26, Constitution Day. A confrontation takes place with the Haryana Police but the farmers arrive on the outskirts of Delhi. On November 29, home minister Amit Shah appeals to protesting farmers to move to Burari so that talks can take place in a "structured" manner. Farmers reject Shah’s appeal the next day.
December 2020: Third, fourth and fifth round of talks take place between the government and farmers’ unions on December 1, 3 and 5 but fail to break the deadlock. Bharat Bandh is held on December 8, Shah hosts "informal" meet with farmers. Talks remain inconclusive and leaders decide not to come for December 9 talks. Farmers block the Delhi-Jaipur highway on December 13. The sixth round of talks finally takes place on December 30, consensus reached on two out of four demands of farmers. Impasse continues on legal assurance for Minimum Support Price (MSP) and total repeal of laws.
January 2021: Seventh and eighth round of talks take place but once again no resolution is found. The Supreme Court hears a clutch of pleas on January 11 challenging the laws. On January 12, implementation of farm laws stayed until further orders and a four-member committee formed to handle the negotiations. Farmers hold a tractor march in Delhi on Republic Day (January 26) to build pressure on the government to repeal the laws. Violence is reported in the march, and several policemen are injured.
February 2021: An online toolkit in support of farmers surfaces and the protest attracts the interest of international celebrities and activists like Rihanna and Greta Thunberg. Farmers hold a nationwide 'Chakka Jam' on February 6. Climate activist Disha Ravi is arrested on February 14 allegedly for creating and sharing the toolkit. She was granted bail on February 23.
March 2021: Punjab Vidhan Sabha passes resolution seeking unconditional withdrawal of the three farm laws.
April 2021: Farmers' protest continues even after 100 days. Some of the protesters return to Punjab ahead of the harvesting season, but others vow to continue the agitation.
May 2021: Farmers observe 'black day'. Samyukt Kisan Morcha urges the government to hold talks with protesting farmers.
July 2021: 'Kisan Sansad' begins at Jantar Mantar in Delhi, along with the monsoon session of Parliament. The farmers say they will keenly watch the discussions in Parliament on farm laws.
September 2021: One year of the passage of farm laws. Farmers head to Karnal where a five-day standoff is reported with the district administration. On September 17, Bharat Bandh is observed by farmer unions to mark one year of the passage of farm laws.
October 2021: Supreme Court talks about the inconvenience being faced by the commuters due to farmers' protest. The Delhi Police starts removing barricades from Ghazipur and Tikri borders. The farmers, however, vow to continue with their agitation.
November 2021: PM Modi announces scrapping of the three farm laws.