Farm laws to go: A timeline of the farmers' protest that shook the nation
- The farmer leaders said their movement will end only when these laws are actually repealed
- Parliament passed the farm laws - by Lok Sabha on September 17
- President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent on September 27
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday announced that the Centre has come to a conclusion to scrape off three farm laws, which played a major role in farmers staging protests across India. Addressing the nation, PM Modi said that his government has always worked for the welfare of the farmers.
PM Modi, hailing the laws as pathbreaking for the agriculture sector, said that multiple rounds of talk were held to end farmers' protest but a section refused to budge.
The farmer organisations, which have been sitting at Delhi's borders, welcomed the Centre's decision but did not vow to end the protest immediately. The farmer leaders said their movement will end only when these laws are actually repealed.
The protest is being led by Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella organisation of more than 30 farmer unions.
Here's a timeline over the protests caused by 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 introduced as ordinances. However, the farmers opposed the ordinances and launched protests in Punjab.
September 2020: Parliament passed the farm laws - by Lok Sabha on September 17 and Rajya Sabha (by voice vote) on September 20. President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent on September 27. With this, the farmers' protests began to expand and 'Rail Roko' was held in Punjab.
October 2020: Supreme Court hears petition challenging constitutional validity of the three laws and seeks Centre' response. The petition was filed by Congress and other opposition parties. On October 8, the government called the farmer unions for a conference, but the demand was rejected. The first round of talks was held on October 14.
November 2020: On November 13, the second round of talks was held, but remained 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 took place with the Haryana Police but the farmers arrived on the outskirts of Delhi. On November 29, home minister Amit Shah appealed to protesting farmers to move to Burari so that talks can take place in a "structured" manner. Next day, the farmers rejected Shah’s appeal.
December 2020: It was during this month the third, fourth and fifth round of talks took place between the government and farmers’ unions. However, the talks failed to break the deadlock. Bharat Bandh was held on December 8.
On December 13, farmers blocked the Delhi-Jaipur highway. The sixth round of talks finally took 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 was held. As usual, no resolution was found. The Supreme Court heard 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 was formed to handle the negotiations.
February 2021: An online toolkit in support of farmers. The protests had attracted the interest of international celebrities and activists like Rihanna and Greta Thunberg. Farmers held a nationwide 'Chakka Jam' on February 6.
On February 14, climate activist Disha Ravi was reportedly arrested 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.
September 2021: One year of the passage of farm laws. Farmers headed to Karnal where a five-day standoff was reported with the district administration.
November 2021: PM Modi announces scrapping of the three farm laws.