September 27, 2021 2:26:35 am
AHEAD OF the Bharat Bandh called on Monday by farmers’ unions protesting against the three contentious farm laws, several Opposition parties on Sunday extended support to the 10-hour nationwide strike.
The Congress, SAD, SP, BSP, TMC, AAP, YSRCP and Left parties announced that they would support the bandh, with some of these parties asking their workers to join the strike.
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of more than 40 farmer unions, which is spearheading the protests, said in a statement, “It was on September 27, 2020 that President Shri Ram Nath Kovind assented to and brought into force the three anti-farmer black laws last year. Tomorrow, there will be a total Bharat Bandh observed around the country from 6 am to 4 pm.”
It said all emergency establishments and essential services will be exempted from the bandh.
The SKM said although all political parties have been asked to support Monday’s strike, none of them, or their representatives, will be given space on the farmers’ stage. They can set up their own stages in support of the farmers.
Calling for a peaceful bandh, SKM member Dr Darshan Pal said, “We will ensure that no markets or shops are closed forcibly. There is no place for violence in our movement. Sunday also marked the completion of 10 months of farm agitation against farm laws at Delhi borders.”
Farmers on Sunday also held a mahapanchayat in Panipat, which was addressed by senior farmer leaders, including Rakesh Tikait and Gurnam Singh Chaduni.
Extending support to the bandh, Congress general secretary (organisation) K C Venugopal tweeted, “All PCC presidents, chiefs of frontal organisations are requested to go out in front with our Annadatas in their peaceful Bharat Bandh across the country.” In a tweet in Hindi, BSP chief Mayawati said, “The farmers of the country do not endorse the three farm laws brought in a hurry by the Centre, and are sad about it.” She said her party supports their call for a peaceful bandh.
In Kolkata, TMC chief and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said she supports the farmers. Addressing a public meeting for the Bhabanipur by-poll, she said, “Tomorrow, there is a call for Bharat Bandh. Our party does not support bandhs. But we support their issue. If needed, we will go to Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh to support their protest.”
In Kerala, both the ruling LDF and UDF supported the strike.
WITH PTI INPUTS
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