New Delhi, Dec 8 : As the opposition parties in 11 states took to the streets in support of the protesting farmers’ call for ‘Bharat Bandh’, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Tuesday urged farmers to avoid the “propaganda” being spread. He assured them that “the MSP and mandis will also continue”.
Expressing his views on Twitter, the Minister, however, reiterated the Central government’s point, saying the three contentious farm laws will prosper farmers in many ways like increasing their produce storage.
“New agricultural reform laws will bring prosperity in the lives of farmers. Investment in cold store and food processing industry in the country will increase and farmers will be able to have sufficient storage,” Tomar said in a series of tweets.
The Agriculture Minister further advised the farmers to “avoid the propaganda being spread under the political agenda and the forces that divide the society”.
“Avoid deceptive propaganda being spread by disruptive and anarchist forces.”
The Minister further ensured that the “Minimum Support Price (MSP) and mandis will also continue and farmers will be able to sell their crops anywhere they wish”.
Tomar’s statement came when early inputs from across the country showed mixed response to the ‘Bharat Bandh’ call given by the farmer unions on Tuesday as no major disturbance has been reported from anywhere.
The shutdown — from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. — focuses primarily on “chakka jaam” (no vehicular movement). However, its effect on the movement of vehicles is yet to be observed.
The call was, however, supported by various Opposition political parties in office in Punjab, Delhi, Rajasthan, Kerala, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Puducherry.
Cold response was seen in Tamil Nadu while there was growing solidarity for the farmers’ cause in Odisha and Telangana. In Uttar Pradesh, the Samajwadi Party workers stopped the Bundelkhand Express at Prayagraj, leading to a scuffle with the police as the Samajwadi Party workers squatted on the railway track. Very few vehicles were seen on the roads in Bihar in morning as the Mahagathbandhan led by Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav is spearheading the support to the ‘Bharat Bandh’.
The morning peak-hour traffic movement was by and large normal across the country except a few states.
Partial ‘Bharat Bandh’ impact was seen in vegetable ‘mandis’ in the national capital and various other states, but the commercial establishments, particularly in cities and towns, are likely not to be affected as the retailers’ organisations have kept off the shutdown.
There was some impact of the ‘Bandh’ call on the interstate bus services and the passengers reached railway stations a bit early in the wake of the nationwide protest.
State and city borders were open, and public vehicles like auto-rickshaws, taxis, aggregator cabs, and a few heavy vehicles carrying essential items were witnessed moving on the roads.
Wholesale markets, retail vegetable markets and local vendors were functioning partially in many states.
Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.