Agitating farmers call for ‘Bharat Bandh’ today

New Delhi: Farmers protesting against the Centre’s agricultural sector laws have called a “Bharat Bandh” today after several rounds of talks with the government over the new farm laws remained inconclusive.

Farmer unions on Friday decided to intensify their agitation against the farm laws calling for ‘Bharat Bandh’ today stating that they were not satisfied with amendments to the agricultural legislations being proposed by the government.

“The bandh will be observed throughout Tuesday, but the ‘chakka jam’ (road blockade) will be on only till 3 pm,” said Darshan Pal, Punjab unit president of the Krantikari Kisan Union said on Monday.

The leaders of the farmer groups also said that political party will be allowed on stage.

Travel advisories

Haryana Police and Delhi Police have issued travel advisories informing that people may face traffic blockages on various roads and highways.

“It is expected that agitating groups may sit in dharna on various roads and highways, within Haryana and blockage them for some time. The peak time of impact is expected to be between 12 pm to 3 pm. There may be some disruptions on various toll plazas in the state. The main national highways Delhi-Ambala (NH-44), Delhi-Hisar (NH-9), Delhi-Palwal (NH-19) and Delhi to Rewari (NH-48) may also see some traffic disruptions for a short time,” the Travel advisory by Haryana Police read.

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“Available Open Borders to Haryana are following Borders–Daurala, Kapashera, Rajokri NH 8, Bijwasan/Bajghera, Palam Vihar and Dundahera Borders,” Delhi Traffic Police tweeted.

APSRTC

Meanwhile, buses of Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) will not ply till 1 pm in the entire state on Tuesday, said state Agriculture Minister Kurasala Kannababu on Monday.

The opposition parties, including People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist), Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Samajwadi Party (SP), All India Forward Bloc (AIFB), National Congress Party (NCP) and Congress party, have extended their support to the ‘Bharat Bandh’ call.

On Sunday leaders of opposition parties issued a joint statement extending solidarity with the call for a Bharat Bandh demanding the withdrawal of “retrograde Agri-laws” and the Electricity Amendment Bill.

Support to Bharat Bandh

K Chandrashekar Rao-led Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena have also supported the call for the bandh. Sukhbir Singh Badal led Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), which left the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to protest against farm laws, has also announced to lend its support to Bharat Bandh.

A team of actor Kamal Haasan-led political party Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) on Sunday joined the agitating farmers at Singhu border in New Delhi.

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However, Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Saugata Roy said that his party stands with protesting farmers but will not support Bharat Bandh in West Bengal.

The farmers union on Monday urged farmers not to force anyone to join the call for Bharat Bandh.

“We appeal to farmers no to force anyone to observe Bharat Bandh. People are supporting our movement willingly. Even railway people will support the bandh. Four states business people are with us. We don’t have to go and tell that tomorrow is Bharat bandh,” Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU-Rajewal), president Balbir Singh Rajewal said at a press conference at the Delhi-Haryana Singhu border.

Farmers’ protest

Thousands of farmers have been protesting on different borders of the national capital since November 26 against the three newly enacted farm laws–Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

Leaders of farmer groups have held several rounds of talks with the government but all of them remained inconclusive so far. After the fifth round of talks, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has called another meeting on December 9.

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