Veteran social activist Anna Hazare has cancelled his planned fast against the three central agricultural laws. He announced his decision today in the presence of senior BJP leader and former Maharashtra chief minister, Devendra Fadnavis.
“I have been doing andolan (agitation) on various issues for a long time. It is not a crime to protest peacefully…I have been raising the farmers’ issue for three years… they die by suicide because they don’t get the right prices for their crops…the government has decided to increase the MSP (Minimum Support Price) by 50 percent – I have got the letter,” he told reporters.
“Since the centre decided to work on these 15 issues (his demands for farmers), I have cancelled tomorrow’s fast,” he added.
Earlier this month, the 83-year-old Gandhian had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he would launch the “last hunger strike” of his life by January end.
He had told reporters that the laws, against which thousands of farmers have been protesting near the national capital for weeks, didn’t adhere to “democratic values”.
Mr Hazare, whose hunger strikes in the national capital in 2011 and 2012 galvanised millions across the country against institutional corruption, earlier this month said he had been writing letters for permission to hold a protest over farmers’ issues at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan but didn’t get a response.
The farmers are protesting the three laws that – they allege- will make them vulnerable to corporates and will hit their incomes. The government says the laws will provide more avenues to farmers to sell their crops and will eliminate the role of middlemen.