Social activist Anna Hazare on Friday cancelled his indefinite hunger strike against the three new farm laws, hours after announcing it, PTI reported. He announced his new decision in the presence of senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
“I have been doing agitation on various issues for a long time,” Hazare told reporters, according to NDTV. “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% – I have got the letter.”
He added that the Central government has agreed to 15 demands raised by him for the farmers.
Earlier in the day, the 83-year-old said he will begin his indefinite hunger strike at his village of Ralegan Siddhi in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district from Saturday. He had also urged his supporters to fast at their respective locations.
Hazare asserted that over the last four years, the Centre has failed to meet his demands on MSP system and other agriculture-related matters. MSP is the rate at which the government buys farm produce, and is based on a calculation of at least one-and-a-half times the cost of production incurred by farmers.
Commenting on the violence on January 26 during farmers’ tractor rally against the new agriculture laws, Hazare had said that the incident was regrettable. He claimed that all his movements, including the 2011 protest in favour of introduction of the Lokpal Bill, have been non-violent and peaceful.
Last month, Hazare had said he will go on a hunger strike in what would be his “last protest”, if his demands were not met. He had also observed fast on December 8, in support of the Bharat Bandh called by farmer organisations demanding a repeal of the three new agriculture laws.