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India’s Modi backs down on farm reforms in surprise victory for protesters

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  • Government concedes to farmers forward of key state elections
  • Modi says did not win the argument with small farmers
  • Laws to be repealed in upcoming parliament session
  • Farmers to proceed protest in Delhi till legal guidelines repealed

GHAZIABAD, India, Nov 19 (Reuters) – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioned on Friday he would repeal three agriculture legal guidelines that farmers have been protesting in opposition to for greater than a 12 months, a big climb-down for the combative chief as essential elections loom.

The laws, launched in September final 12 months, was geared toward deregulating the sector, permitting farmers to promote produce to patrons past government-regulated wholesale markets, the place growers are assured of a minimal worth.

Farmers, fearing the reform would reduce the costs they get for their crops, staged nationwide protests that drew in activists and celebrities from India and past, together with local weather activist Greta Thunberg and pop singer Rihanna.

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“Today I’ve come to inform you, the entire nation, that we’ve got determined to withdraw all three agricultural legal guidelines,” Modi mentioned in an handle to the nation.

“I urge farmers to return to their properties, their farms and their households, and I additionally request them to begin afresh.”

The authorities would repeal the legal guidelines in the brand new session of parliament, beginning this month, he mentioned.