Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday invited farmers for talks to overcome on farmers’ concerns about three new agricultural laws that seek to regulate a broad state agricultural sector.
Tens of thousands of farmers have been camping out on main highways on the outskirts of New Delhi for more than two months in a bid to force the government to withdraw the new laws they say benefit private buyers at their expense.
Defending the laws passed by his government in September, Modi said: “The laws give farmers the freedom to directly sell produce to buyers, unshackling them from the age-old restriction of selling crops only through wholesale markets.”
The laws were designed to give an option to farmers, without weakening existing wholesale markets, Modi told parliament. Lawmakers from the main opposition Congress party walked out of parliament, expressing solidarity with the protesting farmers.