Polls on horizon: Will farm law repeal alter political dynamics?
- PM Narendra Modi said the three farm laws will be repealed
- The repeal will take place in the winter session of Parliament
- The decision might have significant impact on Assembly polls
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday addressed the nation to announce that the Centre has decided to withdraw the three contentious farm laws that had farmers across Punjab and western Uttar Pradesh agitated for over a year. Modi’s move, comes on the occasion of Guru Nanak Jayanti, an auspicious occasion for Sikhs who were at the forefront of the protest, is being seen as the Bharatiya Janata Party’s attempt to woo voters ahead of the Assembly elections in Punjab next year.
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Further, farmers in western Uttar Pradesh have also been protesting the farm laws and the decision to repeal them may have an electoral impact in India’s most populous state. The decision to repeal the laws may give birth to new political equations across northwestern India, which is a key part of BJP’s electoral power.
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Captain Amarinder Singh was forced out of the Congress and Punjab chief ministerial position earlier this year. Since then, Amarinder Singh has decided to float his own party for the Punjab polls and said that he might consider a tie-up with the BJP if the farmers’ protest was resolved in their favour.
Now, with the farm laws being withdrawn, this paves the way for the BJP to tie-up with Amarinder Singh and find a foothold in Punjab.
The Akali-BJP split
Bringing in the three farm laws has proved expensive to the BJP in terms of coalition partners. The Akali Dal, one of the BJP’s oldest allies, walked out of the NDA in protest against the farm laws. The announced repeal of the farm laws may bring political equations back on track.
Electoral fate of farm groups
As assembly elections approached, farm unions said they might enter the political arena if the farm laws are not repealed. Now, having tasted victory by making the Centre take back the farm laws, they might still want to have a larger political impact. Buoyed by the success of their agitation, farm unions may still be an X-factor in the Punjab elections.
Impact on Western Uttar Pradesh
While Punjab is certainly the state most impacted by the farm agitations, western Uttar Pradesh is likely to see an impact. Rakesh Tikait, farm leader and national spokesperson of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), said the protesting farmers will not return home unless the farm laws are repealed when the monsoon session begins on November 29. The impact that Tikait will have in the Uttar Pradesh polls remains to be seen.