More than a dozen parties in the new Indian government are working to change laws passed in the outgoing government that critics say led to a wave of farmer protests.
Farm activists say the policies, including one related to land rights, were in effect during the most recent protests, which saw tens of thousands of farmers turn to the streets over a year ago.
“This is a broad move to unify the political parties, and to solve the situation,” BJP spokesperson Paresh Dhanani told Fox News India.
Dhanani said India is still producing more food than it needs but blames the previous ruling party for the chaos, saying that its government shut down the economy by enacting the policies at the same time that it also implemented the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and demonetization.
But the BJP is not only appealing to farmers. Arvind Kejriwal, the leader of the Aam Aadmi Party, which was a prominent part of the recent protests, said the plans were being prepared before his party – which was relegated to the Indian parliament after elections last year – took power.
“We, in AAP, will try to work together with the BJP to convince the farmers that the problems are now being solved,” Kejriwal said in an interview with NDTV.
The agrarian crisis in India has long been a problem that has held the country back from breaking a long period of poverty. According to the United Nations, Indian farmers produce more food than they eat.
The policies that have fueled this state of affairs have been contested ever since the government was formed in 2014.
Former prime minister Manmohan Singh, now a senior member of the opposition Congress party, has accused the previous government of planning to sell off some of the land belonging to farmers.
The new rules are also promising to rein in India’s growing big-money industry, and parties say some of the measures in the current draft, which is expected to be released next week, will help push through reforms including better rules to regulate capital.
“These big industries need land, and to prevent big industries from grabbing land, we need strong legal procedures and acts of the government,” Dhanani said.
However, not everyone is happy with the latest moves. Dhanani said the new government will make sure this doesn’t happen again.
“I think farmers will get some succor, but farmers will get so much help that they won’t need to agitate again,” he said.
Fox News correspondent Dave Benett contributed to this report.