Bharat Bandh on September 27: The Samyukt Kisan Morcha has called for ‘Bharat Bandh’ on September 27 against the Centre’s three contentious farm laws and has appealed to the people of the country to join their nation-wide strike.Â
SKM, the umbrella body of over 40 farm unions spearheading the farmers’ agitation, also asked political parties to “stand with farmers in their “quest to defend principles of democracy and federalism”.
SKM has appealed to all organisations of workers, traders, transporters, businessmen, students, youth and women and all social movements to extend solidarity with the farmers that day.Â
The farmer protests have completed 300 days on Wednesday and show no signs of abating. The SKM, an umbrella body of over 40 farmer unions, said that the farmers have continued their protest for over nine months now because the government has been “adamant” on not repealing the contentious farm laws. It said lakhs of farmers are protesting at Delhi borders not of their “own volition”.
Bharat Bandh: All you need to know
The bandh will start at 6 am and it will remain in force till 4 pm during which all the central and state government offices, markets, shops, factories, schools, colleges and other educational institutions will not be allowed to function.
Public and private transport will not be allowed to ply on roads. No public functions will be allowed.Â Â
All emergency establishments and essential services, including hospitals, medical stores, relief and rescue work and people attending to personal emergencies will be exempted.
Bank Union extends support to farmers’ call for a total shutdown
The All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AlBOC) on Wednesday extended its support to the ‘Bharat Bandh’ called by Samyukta Kisan Morcha on September 27.
AIBOC requested the government to re-open dialogue with the Samyukta Kisan Morcha on their demands and rescind the three contentious farm laws.
AIBOC affiliates and state units will join in solidarity with the protest actions of the farmers all over the country on Monday, the union said in a statement.
Political parties join call for ‘total shutdown’
Congress back Bharat Bandh
The Congress on Saturday extended support to the Bharat Bandh call given by farmer unions against the Centre’s three agri laws and demanded that discussions be initiated with the protesters.
Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh said the Congress party and all its workers will support the “peaceful Bharat Bandh on September 27, called by farmer unions and farmers”.
“We demand that the due process of discussion with the farmers should be initiated because they are sitting on the borders of Delhi for last more than nine months. We demand that these three black laws, which were imposed without any consultation, should be taken back,” he also said.
The Congress leader also demanded that the MSP should be given as a legal right to every farmer “as they do not want only ‘jumlas’ (rhetoric)” and referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promise to double the farmers’ income by 2022.
Vallabh said the farmers are demanding the withdrawal of three “black laws which were imposed without following any democratic process or consultation”.
“They are only demanding that MSP should be given as a legal right to every farmer.
“I am surprised that why Prime Minister Modi is opposing Chief Minister Modi? When UPA-2 was in power, Chief Minister Modi gave in writing that MSP should be given as a legal right, now he is opposing his own words and his entire party is opposing his words,” he said.
“If we compare 2012-13 income of a farmer family with his income in 2018-19, the income due to farming in the total income of a farmer has reduced from 48 percent to 38 percent,” he claimed.
Left parties urge people to support ‘Bharat Bandh’Â
The Left parties also appealed to the people to support the ‘Bharat Bandh’ called by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha on September 27 to protest the Centre’s three agri laws.
In a joint statement, the CPI, CPI(M), All India Forward Bloc, Revolutionary Socialist Party and the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) said the “historic” farmers’ struggle demanding the repeal of the agri-laws and a legal guarantee of Minimum Support Price is in its 10th month, and urged people to come out in support of their cause.
The parties accused the government of being “obdurate” and said the Centre is “refusing to engage with struggling kisans through talks.”
“The Left parties while condemning this obstinacy of the Modi government demand that these agri-laws be repealed immediately, guaranteed MSP be implemented, the National Monetisation Pipeline be scrapped and Labour Codes repealed.
“The Left parties call upon all their units to actively work for the success of Bharat Bandh.”
Tamil Nadu’s ruling DMK alsoÂ backs farmers’ strike
The ruling DMK appealed to the people, farmers, farm workers and traders to take part in the proposed nationwide strike on September 27 by farmer unions and urged its functionaries as well to make the “Bharat Bandh” a success in Tamil Nadu.
The party stood with farmers protesting -in Delhi and other places- against the farm laws, DMK’s state agriculture wing chief NKK Periyasamy said, adding, the Centre was however autocratic and does not pay heed to them.
Against this background and seeking the repeal of the “anti-agriculture” farm laws, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella outfit of several associations of farmers has called for a nationwide, peaceful strike on September 27 which would not affect essential activities, he said in a statement.
Tamil Nadu farmers, farm workers, general public, traders and all social outfits should participate in the bandh and make it a complete success, he requested.
The proposed strike is also against fuel price rise, the anti-democratic proposals of privatisation of public sector enterprises, he said, adding, the public support in Tamil Nadu should echo across the nation.
AAP supports Bharat Bhandh:
Delhi’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) hasÂ extended its support to the Bharat Bandh called by the national level farmers’ associations.
The AAP in its statement said, “The ruling BJP and Congress are adopting a dictatorial attitude to suppress the voice of the âannadatas’. The BJP will have to pay the price for such a repressive policy.”
RJD requestsÂ workers to make Bharat Bandh a success
The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD)Â also extended its support and “requested all RJD workers to make this Bharat Bandh a success”.
CentreÂ and farmer union talks so far
The government and farmer unions have held 11 rounds of talks so far, the last being on January 22, to break the deadlock and end the farmers’ protest. Talks have not resumed following widespread violence during a tractor rally by protesting farmers on January 26.
The three laws — The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020 — were passed by the Parliament in September last year.
Farmer groups have alleged that these laws will end the mandi and MSP procurement systems and leave the farmers at the mercy of big corporates, even as the government has rejected these apprehensions as misplaced and asserted that these steps will help increase farmers’ income.
The Supreme Court had in January stayed the implementation of the three laws till further orders and appointed a panel to resolve the impasse.Â