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Disappointing that Bengal will not support Bharat Bandh: Farm leader

bharat band

Ashok Chatterjee

Kolkata (The Hawk): A Bharat Bandh has been called on Monday by the farmers' movement and preparations have been made to the fullest extent possible. The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) is also a part of the farmers’ movement and is supporting the bandh.

Even after 10 months of peaceful, determined and patient protests by farmers of India in the face of many adversities and attacks and with more than 605 farmers martyred in the agitation so far, the Narendra Modi-led government is exhibiting extreme undemocratic and callous behaviour, feels the farmers’ body.

The Andhra Pradesh government, led by YSR Congress, expressed its support to the Bandh and announced that state road transport buses will be kept off the roads till September 27 afternoon, from 26 night. The government has lent such solidarity to the farmer movement in the past too. In Kerala, the ruling LDF has also supported the hartal on September 27. Punjab's new chief minister extended his support and in Jharkhand the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, Congress and RJD have been jointly planning for the success of the Bharat Bandh. In Tamil Nadu, the ruling DMK also is supporting the bandh.

The West Bengal government has not extended any support to the Bharat Bandh and the farmer leaders have regretted the decision.

Avik Saha of Jai Kisan Andolan said, “It is extremely disappointing and anguishing that the West Bengal government is not lending their support to us and the Bharat Bandh, when the chief minister herself said that she supports the farmers’ cause. This shows a lack of understanding of the cause and reasoning behind the farmers’ movement. It is shocking that a senior politician such as the chief minister of west Bengal should not wholeheartedly and physically supporting the farmer movement.”

Protests continue against BJP leaders, including in Uttar Pradesh. In Haryana, chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar had to cancel a programme in Ambala owing to farmers' protest on Sunday. 

The birth anniversary of Shaheed Bhagat Singh on September 28 will be marked by the farmers' movement and the SKM invites youth and students to join in large numbers at the morchas to mark the day as well.

It was on November 26, last year that lakhs of farmers, despite numerous obstacles placed by BJP governments in the Centre and states, reached Delhi's borders last year, to express their concerns and resistance towards three anti-farmer, pro-corporate laws that the Union government thrust on farmers of the country, and to secure a legal entitlement for remunerative MSP for themselves.  

It was on September 27 that President Ram Nath Kovind assented to and brought into force the three anti-farmer black laws last year. To mark the dark day, there will be a total Bharat Bandh observed around the country from 6am to 4pm, say the SKM members. Farmer unions, along with their supporters including trade unions, have made detailed plans to ensure that life remains suspended on Monday across the country, except for emergency services.