Indian court suspends new agricultural laws, led by Modi

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On the eve of the judgment, local reports, citing leaders of the farmers, suggested they might not participate in the committees, seeing them as a government ploy to exhaust the protesters.

But shortly after Tuesday’s judgment, AP Singh, one of the lawyers representing some of the agricultural unions involved in the protests, called it a “victory for farmers”. Union leaders said they would issue a response after holding talks.

Tens of thousands of farmers have besieged New Delhi for more than six weeks now, setting up well-organized protest camps stretching for tens of kilometers at all the main entrances to the capital. They held on despite the winter cold, frequent rains and dozens of deaths in their ranks.

Mr Modi’s government, which has said it wants to nearly double India’s economy by 2024, hopes that injecting private investment into the struggling agricultural sector will accelerate growth. The new laws, which parliament hastily passed in September and which led to protests from opposition parties, would ease some government regulations to encourage private investors to deal directly with farmers.

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