Indian PM Modi to repeal controversial farm laws

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi says he has decided to repeal controversial farm laws.

Modi announced the decision in a national TV address on Friday.

He said his government will begin the constitutional process to repeal the three laws.

The laws aimed at deregulating farm produce trade were introduced in September last year.

But farmers strongly protested, saying the legislation forced them to compete with large companies and could lower their earnings by requiring them to sell their crops at cheaper prices.

In January, one protester was killed in a clash with police in the capital, New Delhi.

In October, eight people died in another clash in the neighboring state of Uttar Pradesh.

Modi's surprise decision comes ahead of an assembly election early next year in Uttar Pradesh, one of the country's main farming states.

The results will likely have an impact on the nation's politics.

Local media say the election may have forced the prime minister to make a concession on the laws.