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India's Congress party leaders Sonia Gandhi (3R) and her son Rahul Gandhi (5L) along with other party members take part in a protest against the central government's agricultural reform laws during the winter session of the parliament in New Delhi on November 29, 2021. Image Credit: AFP

New Delhi: India’s parliament voted on Monday to scrap agricultural reform laws that sparked a year of huge protests by farmers, after a surprise U-turn by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In its first meeting for the winter session, both houses of India’s parliament passed the bill to scrap the laws, after Modi’s shock decision to reverse course earlier this month.

But farmers’ unions have vowed to keep up the fight against the government until they secure further concessions from the government.

They are seeking minimum prices for crops and compensation for the families of hundreds of farmers they said died during the protests, among other demands.

The government claimed the reforms, passed in September last year, aimed to deregulate farm produce markets.

But protesting farmers said the new laws would lead to a corporate takeover of the industry.

Meanwhile, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that it is unfortunate that the laws were repealed without a discussion.

Addressing a press conference, the Wayanad MP said that the upcoming State elections must have also played on the federal government’s mind while taking the decision to withdraw these laws.

“Earlier, we had said that the government will have to withdraw the farm laws, and today these laws were repealed. It is unfortunate that the farm laws were repealed without discussion. This government is scared of holding a discussion,” said the Congress MP.

The Congress leader said that the fact is that the government could not face the strength of the Indian people represented by farmers in this case.

“The upcoming State elections must have also played on their mind,” he added.

The Wayanad MP had left the Parliament after the Lok Sabha was adjourned till noon following sloganeering by the Opposition members.

After the resumption of Lok Sabha, the Farm Laws Repeal Bill, 2021 was passed. The bill was also passed in the Upper House today.

In an address to the nation on November 19, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the repealing of the three Central farm laws on the day of Guru Nanak Jayanti. The bill was cleared by the Union Cabinet last week.

The winter session of Parliament is scheduled to conclude on December 23.