Hyderabad, Dec 8 : Buses of state-owned Road Transport Corporation in Telangana went off road on Tuesday amid growing support for farmers groups-called Bharat Bandh that received support from all parties in the state except the BJP.
With employee unions of Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) backing the shutdown call, buses were confined to depots.
Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station and Jubilee Bus Station, two biggest and busiest bus stations in Hyderabad, wore a deserted look. Some commuters who reached the bus stations early morning to board buses to their destinations were seen returning disappointed.
Most of the cabs and auto-rickshaws also went off the roads as the unions of taxi and auto drivers backed the Bharat Bandh in support of the demand by farmers’ groups asking for rollback of the new farm legislations by the central government.
With the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) declaring total support to the bandh, it is likely to evoke good response across the state. Opposition Congress, Left and other parties, farmers’ and people’s organizations and trade unions are also backing the protest.
Ministers, MPs, state legislators and other public representatives will be participating in protests across the state. Chief Minister and TRS president K. Chandrasekhar Rao has appealed to party cadres to make the bandh a total success.
TRS has called upon its leaders to stage road blockades on highways to show solidarity with agitating farmers.
Backing the struggle by farmers against the three farm laws, Rao said the laws adversely impacted their interests. It was precisely because of that the TRS opposed the Bills in Parliament, he said and stressed the need for the agitation to continue until they were repealed.
Rao’s son, cabinet minister and TRS working president K. T. Rama Rao will be leading the protest at Borgula on Hyderabad-Bengaluru national highway. The chief minister’s daughter and member of legislative council K. Kavitha will lead rasta rook near Kamareddy.
Home minister Mohammed Mehmood Ali, finance minister Harish Rao, agriculture minister Niranjan Reddy and other ministers will also lead the protests on highways.
K. T. Rama Rao Mr. Rao urged owners of shops and business establishments to reopen their premises after 12 noon. He also wanted transport companies to resume their operations only in the afternoon.
Dubbing the new farm legislation as ‘black laws’, Rama Rao called for raising a unified voice against a conspiracy to hand over the farm sector to the corporate entities and make farmers labourers at the hands of the big corporate players
Leaders and workers of Congress, CPI, CPI (M), other Left parties will also stage protests.
Telangana Non Gazetted Officers Union also extended support to the nationwide bandh call.
Welfare Party of India, Jamaat-e-Islami, Student’s Islamic Organization (SIO), Jamiatul Ulema and several other groups have also announced support to the shutdown.
Director General of Police M. Mahender Reddy directed police officials to take all preventive steps to maintain law and order in view of the bandh call. “It has also been instructed that none should be allowed to take law in their hand,” said a statement from DGP’s office.
Cyberabad police has issued a traffic advisory in view of the bandh.
Several protests might be held at various places, including on roads and junctions in and around the city, affecting regular movement of traffic, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) S.M. Vijay Kumar said.
People going to Rajiv Gandhi International Airport are advised to take the Outer Ring Road (ORR) and plan their travel accordingly, he said.
Free passage for emergency services and ambulances will be ensured on all roads.
Osmania University and Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University-Hyderabad have postponed the examinations scheduled for Tuesday. The exams would be held later.
BJP has opposed the bandh call. Party’s state union leader appealed to farmers and citizens at large not to support what they call ‘sarkari bandh’. They also appealed to people not to fall into the political trap of the opposition parties.
Union minister of state for home G. Kishan Reddy said it was unfortunate that a state government has officially declared that it is supporting the bandh. He urged the farmers not to mortgage their interests by believing the TRS and other opposition parties on the propaganda unleashed against the three farm laws.
Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.