The majority of Indians support new farm laws, want protests to be canceled

During protests around the state capital against the new agricultural reforms introduced by the Modi government, a survey by the News18 network showed that the majority of Indians support the implementation of the new laws and believe that the agitation of farmers should be stopped.

In the survey, which was conducted in 22 states of more than 2,400 respondents, a majority believed the new farm reform laws would benefit farmers, and data showed support for the new laws in most agrarian states , especially in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya, Pradesh Andhra Pradesh and Telangana was strong.

The only exception was Punjab, where support was somewhat subdued by comparison, as the issue of agricultural liberalization became heavily politicized.

The poll found that overall support for the new laws across the country was 53.6 percent. 56.59 percent felt it was time for farmers to drop their protest.

The agricultural reforms introduced by the central government allow for the first time trade in agricultural products outside of the mandis regulated by the APMC. Private mandis can be set up all over the country, where anyone can buy products from farmers. The government has stated that this should give farmers more choices about who to sell their products to and that more buyers will result in a better price for farmers.

More than three out of five people News18 spoke to for the survey agreed that farmers could get better prices under the new agrarian reform laws and when asked if giving farmers the choice was the right decision to sell their products outside of APMC mandis Support grew to 73 percent.

Almost half of respondents (48.7 percent) said the opposition to agrarian reforms was politically motivated, and more than half (52.69 percent) said the protesting farmers did not insist on the repeal of agrarian reform laws should and must come to a compromise with the government.

The central government has held several rounds of dialogue with the farmers camping near Delhi in protest and made several concessions to allay their fears and concerns. However, the peasant unions have insisted on repealing the three laws, resulting in a freeze on the talks.

After six rounds of talks, the government said it was offering “assurances” based on exactly what farmers had asked for during the more than 20-hour talks, including a written guarantee of the minimum support price.

The government’s written commitment to MSP, which provides a safety net for farmers and was one of the main demands of the protesting groups, was also supported by respondents. 53.94 percent of those surveyed agreed with the decision.

Support for agricultural reforms and modernization was high in all regions (over 70 percent) and the highest support was recorded in the southern states at 74 percent.

In terms of the newly introduced laws, the highest number of respondents came from Northern India with 63.77 percent, followed by the West Indies with 62.90 percent. Respondents from all zones also support farmers’ right to sell their products outside of the APMC mandis.