The Political Fix: Why is BJP treating the Supreme Court like a tie-breaker for the farmers protest?
The Big Story: Policy by proxy
As 2021 gets under way, after 45 days in the cold and despite eight rounds of talks with the government, tens of thousands of farmers continue their demonstration on the borders of Delhi. The farmers are protesting three agricultural laws passed in controversial manner by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government that seek to deregulate portions of the farming sector.
While the government sold the laws as reforms that would liberate and energise Indian agriculture, the protesters saw them as a gateway to a corporate takeover of farming. The subsequent pushback led to one long-time political ally of the BJP quitting the government and prompted thousands of protesters – Mint says the number is around 200,000 – making their way to the borders of the capital.