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In India, Modi Bets the Farm on Controversial Economic Reforms

Sep 30, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
Farmers in Bangalore, India, stage an anti-government demonstration to protest against the recent passing of new agricultural reforms on Sept. 28, 2020.

Farmers in Bangalore, India, stage an anti-government demonstration to protest against the recent passing of new agricultural reforms on Sept. 28, 2020.

(MANJUNATH KIRAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s new agricultural and labor reforms may help accelerate the country’s economic recovery from COVID-19, but the likely near-term financial losses for Indian farmers and unionized workers will risk fueling backlash from both protesters and state legislatures. The Indian parliament passed the reforms in an abbreviated monsoon session that ended Sept. 25. By usurping procedural legislative practices to close debate or refine the proposed agricultural reforms, the BJP was ultimately able to quickly push through its proposed legislation through a less precise voice vote in parliament instead of a typical ballot vote. ...

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