Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Farmers raise slogans during the ongoing protest against the new farm laws at Singhu Border, in New Delhi on Monday. (Vipin Kumar/HT Photo)
Farmers, agitating for nearly two weeks against the three farm laws enacted by the Centre earlier this year, have called for a nationwide strike on Tuesday. The general strike from 11am till 3pm will be backed by several political parties and a joint platform of 10 central trade unions.
The Congress, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Trinamool Congress (TMC), Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Shiv Sena, Left parties, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Samajwadi Party, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) have extended their support to the call. Several cab and taxi unions are also supporting the Bharat Bandh due to which travelling across the states is likely to be disrupted.
Follow latest updates on Bharat Bandh here
The ministry of home affairs (MHA) has asked all states and Union territories to enforce Covid-19 health and safety protocols strictly and make adequate security arrangements during the nationwide shutdown strike called by farmers’ groups, demanding the repeal of three laws that seek to liberalize agricultural markets.
Thousands of farmers have gathered on Delhi’s borders since November 26 to protest against the three contentious laws. Due to the demonstrations, seven borders of the national capital are completely closed. They are protesting the three legislation —The 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.
Here’s how the bandh will come to pass across different states of the country
Delhi: While the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government led by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal is all set to lend its support to the Bharat Bandh call and peaceful protests against three contentious laws, the Delhi Police on Monday said that they will take strict legal action against persons who would try to disrupt the movement of traffic or people or forcefully close shops. Nearly 4,000 traffic and thousands of security personnel will be deployed on the borders and the city roads to regulate the traffic and avoid any untoward incidents.
Punjab: Farmers who have been protesting for the past 13 days are mainly from the northern states of Punjab and Haryana. Punjab is therefore likely to witness a major impact of the strike. All political parties, traders’ bodies, truck unions and mandi associations have extended support to the call. The Sikh Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee (SGPC), the highest religious body of Sikhs, on Tuesday said the strike will be complete.
Haryana: In Haryana, five legislators of deputy chief minister Dushyant Chautala-led Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) have extended support to the protest. All major markets in the state are expected to remain closed with farmers’ bodies planning blockades along major highways. Haryana’s additional director general of police (law and order) Navdeep Singh Virk said the public may have to face traffic blockages while travelling on various roads and highways of the state on Tuesday.
Uttar Pradesh: Thousands of protesters from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled UP have marched to the Capital. Opposition parties, including the Congress, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party have supported the bandh. The general strike is likely to have a major impact in western UP where the Bhartiya Kisan Union has influence. Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath has asked officials not to compromise with peace and order at any cost and take all necessary steps for ensuring that people do not face any problem because of the proposed ‘Bharat Bandh’ on Tuesday.
West Bengal: The ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) in West Bengal has decided to extend “moral support” to the nationwide strike called by farmers. The party, in solidarity, will stage sit-ins in various parts of the state for the next three days. Senior TMC leader and lawmaker Saugata Roy said the party will not enforce the strike called by the farmers as it is against “bandh culture”.
Maharashtra: The ruling alliance of the Shiv Sena, Congress, and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have supported the Bharat Bandh. Offices in major cities like Mumbai and Pune may continue to operate but highways in rural areas of Marathwada and Vibadhra could be blocked.
Bihar: Opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Congress and Left parties have supported the call for the bandh in Bihar, which is ruled by a coalition of the BJP, Janata Dal(United) or JD(U) and other small parties. Tejashwi Yadav-led RJD has announced protests across the state due to which the police fear major blockades.