Farmers protest Bharat Bandh: All you need to know tomorrows Bharat Bandh | India News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: Protesting farmers have called for a ‘Bharat Bandh’ on December 8 after several rounds of talks with the Central government over the new farm laws didn’t yield any result. Farmers, mainly from Punjab and Haryana, have been agitating on the outskirts of Delhi against the three new farm laws. As the logjam continues, Centre has called for another meet with farmers on December 9.
Here are the key points:
What do farmers say?
The farmers are protesting against the Centre’s new farm laws – the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020. They claim that the new laws would pave way for dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the “mercy” of big corporations.
No rollback, only amendments, says Centre
Minister of State for Agriculture Kailash Choudhary on Sunday reiterated that the farm laws would not be repealed. However, he added that some amendments to the Acts can be made to acknowledge agitating farmers’ demands.
“These laws passed by the government will give freedom to farmers. We always said farmers should have the right to sell their crop wherever they want. Even Swaminathan Commission’s report recommends that. I don’t think the laws should be repealed,” said Choudhary. While the government has asserted that the mechanism will stay, it has also sought more time from unions to present a concrete proposal to resolve the impasse.
18 Opposition parties back stir, extend ‘whole-hearted’ support
Leaders of several political parties, including Congress president Sonia Gandhi, DMK chief M K Stalin, NCP patriarch Sharad Pawar, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and Left Front’s Sitaram Yechury and D Raja, on Sunday said they would lend their “whole-hearted” support to the Bharat bandh call by farmers’ unions. NDA constituent Rashtriya Loktantrik Party has supported the bandh call. Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), another BJP ally that earlier refrained from joining the shutdown, has joined the bandwagon.
However, Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy said that his party stands with protesting farmers but will not support Bharat Bandh in West Bengal.
Regional parties too join ranks
Meanwhile, K Chandrashekar Rao-led Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena have also supported the bandh call.
Arvind Kejriwal on Monday visited the Singhu border to meet the protesting farmers and took stock of the arrangements made for the farmers. As relentless protests continue, Sena’s mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ said if the Union government repeals the agri laws, it will show its “large-heartedness”. However, farmer outfits in Kerala have decided to exclude the state from the bandh as five districts of the state go to local body polls scheduled on Decemeber 8.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar to meet President Kovind
Former union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar will meet President Ram Nath Kovind on December 9. Meanwhile, Pawar, who was the agriculture minister during the UPA regime, had reportedly written to Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit in 2010 proposing amendment of the state APMC Act. In a statement on Monday, the party said that the NCP chief Sharad Pawar persuaded many ‘reluctant’ states to implement the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led government’s model APMC Act.
Banking, trade unions extend support
A number of bank unions too have expressed their solidarity with protesting farmers protesting. The All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) in a statement said the government should come forward and resolve their demands in the interest of the nation and farmers. In addition, the joint forum of trade unions has supported the farmers’ protest includes Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), All India United Trade Union Centre (AIUTUC) and Trade Union Co-ordination Centre (TUCC).
Transport services likely to be disrupted
Services that are likely to be disrupted on Tuesday, including the supply of milk, vegetables and grocery, transport and banking. Delhiites may face problems as several auto and taxi unions in the national capital have decided to join Bharat Bandh.
Delhi Taxi Tourist Transporters Association President Sanjay Samrat said in a statement that several unions, including Delhi State Taxi Cooperative Society, and Kaumi Ekta Welfare Association will join the strike on December 8. However, many other unions have decided to continue normal service despite their support to the demand raised by the farmers.
Singhu border, NH 44 closed for traffic movement as stir enter Day 12
Expecting disruption in commute in and around Delhi, the Traffic Police today suggested alternative routes to enter and exit the national capital on December 8. As part of its advisory, the National Highway (NH) 44 on both sides has been shut. Commuters have been asked to take alternate routes via Lampur, Safiabad, Saboli borders and avoid Outer Ring Road, GTK road and NH-44. The Chilla border on Noida link road is closed for traffic from Noida to Delhi while the Gazipur border on NH-24 is shut from Ghaziabad to Delhi.
More notable faces join stir
Olympic medallist and Congress leader Vijender Singh on Sunday threatened to return his Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award if the central government does not withdraw the farm laws. Later in the day, BJP MP from Punjab’s Gurdaspur, Sunny Deol said he stands both with the party and with the farmers.

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