The Congress on Friday described the Centre's announcement to repeal three farm laws as a victory against injustice, and said arrogance had to bow its head before the peaceful 'satyagrah' of farmers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in an address to the nation of Gurupurab, announced that the government has decided to repeal the three farm laws, which were at the centre of protests by farmers for the past year.
"Country's 'annadatas' (food providers) have made arrogance bow its head through satyagraha," Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi. "Congratulations on this victory against injustice! 'Jai Hind, Jai Hind ka Kisan'," he said.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted, "Glory to the farmer! The agitation has won and the arrogance has lost! Satyameva Jayate". He used the hashtag "#FarmLaws_InjusticeByModi".
Senior Congress leader and deputy leader of Congress in the Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma, while welcoming the repeal of the farm laws, hoped the government would draw lessons to not bypass Parliament and would meaningfully engage with the opposition before enacting laws with far-reaching consequences.
"Truth and justice has prevailed and the farmers' protests vindicated. Had the government not bypassed Parliament scrutiny and excluded stakeholders from consultations, the pain and suffering of the farmers and the loss of lives could have been avoided," he said after Prime Minister Modi announced the repeal of the farm laws.
"Hope that lessons are learnt and the government gets the realisation that no law should be enacted in a hurry without consultation with all stakeholders," Sharma said.
"The government should meaningfully engage with the opposition on proposals to enact any law that has far-reaching consequences," the former union minister said.
Former union minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said, "What cannot be achieved by democratic protests can be achieved by the fear of impending elections." He charged that the prime minister's announcement on the withdrawal of the three farm laws is not inspired by a change of policy or a change of heart. "It is impelled by fear of elections," he tweeted.
"Anyway, it is a great victory for the farmers and for the Congress party which was unwavering in its opposition to the farm laws," Chidambaram also said.
Congress leader and party's chief whip in Rajya Sabha Jairam Ramesh saluted the tenacity of farmers who did not give up and continued with their protests. "First, bulldoze laws in Parliament. Then face unprecedented protests. Thereafter, confront election realities in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, particularly. Finally, after much appeal, repeal. Kisan-ity prevails at last! I salute the tenacity of our kisans who did not give up," Ramesh said on Twitter.
Addressing the nation on the occasion of Guru Nanak Jayanti, Modi insisted that the laws were in the benefit of farmers and then apologised to people of the country while adding that the government could not convince a section of farmers despite its clear heart and clean conscience.
"There may have been some shortcoming in our efforts due to which we could not explain the truth, as clear as the light of the diya, to some of our farmer brothers," he said.
Noting that it is the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, he said it was no occasion to blame anyone. "I have come to tell you that we have decided to repeal the three farm laws. In the upcoming Parliament session starting at the end of this month, we will complete the constitutional process to repeal the three farm laws," Modi said.
"I would request all my protesting farmer friends, today is the auspicious day of Guru Purab, return home, to your fields and family and make a new beginning, let us move forward afresh," he said.
Farmers have been protesting against the three farm laws for the last over a year and have been sitting at Delhi's borders ever since.