Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The ‘Bharat Bandh’ or the nationwide strike called by the farmers against the farm laws will begin at 11am and continue till 3pm on Tuesday.(PTI)



Congress president Sonia Gandhi will not celebrate her birthday on Wednesday, in view of the ongoing farmer’s agitation against the three farm bills and the Covid-19 situation across the country, a party functionary said on Tuesday.

Gandhi is currently in Goa after doctors advised her to move out of the national capital in view of heavy pollution and poor air quality that had aggravated her chest infection.Her son and former Congress president Rahul Gandhi is accompanying her.

Farmers protesting the Centre’s agricultural sector laws have called a ‘Bharat Bandh’ on Tuesday after several rounds of talks with the government over the new farm laws remained inconclusive. Farmers’ unions on December 4 decided to intensify their agitation against the farm laws calling for ‘Bharat Bandh’ stating that they were not satisfied with amendments to the agricultural legislation being proposed by the government.

The ‘Bharat Bandh’ or the nationwide strike called by the farmers against the farm laws will begin at 11am and continue till 3pm on Tuesday. 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.

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.

Meanwhile, India’s tally of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) crossed 9.67 million after 32,981 new infections and 391 deaths were reported from across the country, according to the Union health ministry on Monday. The nation’s death toll has mounted to 140,573 and the active cases stood at 396,729.