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Tens of thousands of Indian farmers rally against gov't plans to ease rules on obtaining land

  • Congress party Vice President Rahul Gandhi interacts with farmers outside his residence in New Delhi, India, Saturday, April 18, 2015. Gandhi will lead a farmers’ rally on Sunday against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s Land Acquisition Bill, calling it anti-farmer in a country where agriculture is the main livelihood for more than 60 percent of the 1.2 billion people. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

    Congress party Vice President Rahul Gandhi interacts with farmers outside his residence in New Delhi, India, Saturday, April 18, 2015. Gandhi will lead a farmers’ rally on Sunday against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s Land Acquisition Bill, calling it anti-farmer in a country where agriculture is the main livelihood for more than 60 percent of the 1.2 billion people. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)  (The Associated Press)

  • Indian farmers hold placards as they wait for Congress party Vice President Rahul Gandhi outside his residence in New Delhi, India, Saturday, April 18, 2015. Gandhi will lead a farmers’ rally on Sunday against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s Land Acquisition Bill, calling it anti-farmer in a country where agriculture is the main livelihood for more than 60 percent of the 1.2 billion people. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

    Indian farmers hold placards as they wait for Congress party Vice President Rahul Gandhi outside his residence in New Delhi, India, Saturday, April 18, 2015. Gandhi will lead a farmers’ rally on Sunday against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s Land Acquisition Bill, calling it anti-farmer in a country where agriculture is the main livelihood for more than 60 percent of the 1.2 billion people. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)  (The Associated Press)

  • India's opposition Congress party president Sonia Gandhi is presented a plough as she arrives at farmers rally as former prime minister Manmohan Singh, right and party vice president Rahul Gandhi,sitting left, watch in New Delhi, India, Sunday, April 19, 2015. Tens of thousands of flag-waving farmers rallied in India's capital on Sunday to protest the government's plan to ease rules for obtaining land for industry and development projects.(AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

    India's opposition Congress party president Sonia Gandhi is presented a plough as she arrives at farmers rally as former prime minister Manmohan Singh, right and party vice president Rahul Gandhi,sitting left, watch in New Delhi, India, Sunday, April 19, 2015. Tens of thousands of flag-waving farmers rallied in India's capital on Sunday to protest the government's plan to ease rules for obtaining land for industry and development projects.(AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)  (The Associated Press)

Tens of thousands of Indian farmers are rallying in New Delhi to protest the government's plans to ease rules for obtaining land for industrial projects.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi says the 2013 law meant to protect land owners from land grabbing and forced relocation creates obstacles that are spooking investors. He and industrial leaders argue that the rules should be simplified in order to boost manufacturing and entice foreign businesses to India.

The proposed reforms have sparked fierce protest by India's hundreds of millions of farmers, workers unions, rights activists and opposition politicians. They say Modi's government is catering to corporate interests while trampling on hard-won rights and protections for the poor.

The opposition Congress party insists safeguards passed when it was in power in 2013 be upheld.