EFENew Delhi

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday said the government would revoke three controversial farm laws in a significant climbdown before key state elections and a year after relentless protests by farmers across the country.

The parliament approved the three agricultural reforms ostensibly meant to modernize the troubled-agricultural sector last year, sparking nationwide protests with farmers alleging that the measure would leave them at the mercy of the free market without protection guarantees from the government.

Farmers across the country, mostly Sikhs in the northern state of Punjab, held sustained demonstrations that began in November last year, ultimately forcing the government to relent.

“Today, I have come to tell you and the entire nation that we have decided to repeal the three farm laws,” Modi said in his 3-minute televised address to the nation.

“We will begin the constitutional process to repeal the three farm laws at the end of this month when the parliament meets for the winter session,” the prime minister said in the surprise announcement.