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Farmer protest could present a challenge for Biden administration: US Congress report

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Washington, Mar 16: A report by the US Congress has warned of repercussions over the farmers' protests in India.

The report warns that the Indian government's position on the ongoing protests could present a challenge for the Biden administration as it shapes its Indo-Pacific policy with India as a key partner.

Farmer protest could present a challenge for Biden administration: US Congress report

The report published by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) could potentially fuel the disquiet.

By some accounts the crackdown on dissent has been excessive and reflective of a broader trend towards authoritarianism in India, the report says.

Farmers Union asks agitators not to build permanent structures at protest sitesFarmers Union asks agitators not to build permanent structures at protest sites

It further added that the perceived backsliding in India's democracy and human rights record may present a challenge for the Biden administration in formulating its policies towards India and the Indo-Pacific.

It may be recalled that in February, Brad Sherman, Democratic lawmaker who co-chairs the House India Caucus had said in a tweet," I urge the Indian government to make sure the norms of democracy are maintained and that protesters are allowed to protest peaceably, and to have access to the Internet and to journalists. All friends of India hope that the parties can reach an agreement."

Biden's state department had said that it encouraged a resolution to the agitation through dialogue. "In general, the United States welcomes steps that would improve the efficiency of India's markets and attract greater private sector investment," the state department had said.

The CRS report was published before the first ever summit level meeting of the Quad which is focused on the Indo-Pacific. The meeting called by Joe Biden made a clear statement on the Indo-Pacific Region.

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