Bharat Bandh: Govt Issues Advisory To States To Maintain Peace

New Delhi:  In the wake of the ‘Bharat Bandh’ or nationwide strike called by the farmers over the contentious farm laws on Tuesday, the Opposition parties have lent their support to the call while the government has issued an advisory to the different states and union territories to tighten security and maintain peace and harmony.

The Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) said on Monday that the Bharat Bandh on December 8 would start at 11 a.m. and end at 3 p.m. as they don’t want to cause inconvenience to the public.

BKU Spokesperson Rakesh Tikait said, “The Bharat Bandh will begin at 11 a.m. and continue till 3 p.m. on Tuesday.”

During the bandh, essential services will not be curtailed and office-goers can move freely, said the BKU spokesperson.

Meanwhile, the Union government has sent an advisory to the different states and UTs to tighten security and maintain peace and harmony within their respective territories.

“The state governments and UT administrations must ensure that the Covid-19 guidelines with regard to health and social distancing are strictly followed,” the Home Ministry advisory read.

Different parties such as the Congress, Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal, DMK, Nationalist Congress Party, CPI, CPI-M, CPI-ML, RSP, AIFB and Telangana Rashtra Samithi have extended their support to the farmers who are demanding that the new farm laws be repealed.

However, the Trinamool Congress, which has been at the forefront in opposing the farm laws in the Parliament, has decided not to go with Tuesday’s Bharat Bandh call.

Party MP Saugata Roy said, “TMC stands in solidarity with the farmers, but will not support the Bharat Bandh in West Bengal as it goes against our principles.”

Earlier, Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee had tweeted, “I am very much concerned about the farmers, their lives and livelihood. GoI must withdraw the anti-farmer bills. If they do not do so immediately, we will agitate throughout the state and the country. From the very start, we have been strongly opposing these anti-farmer bills.”

A joint statement was issued by the leaders of different political parties on Sunday, which read: “We, the undersigned leaders of political parties, extend our solidarity with the ongoing massive struggle by the Indian farmers organised by various kisan organisations from across the country and extend our support to their call for a Bharat Bandh on December 8 demanding the withdrawal of these retrograde Agri-laws and the Electricity Amendment Bill.”

The BSP and Shiv Sena have also supported the bandh.

Farmers from Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh are protesting along the borders of the national capital against the three new agricultural laws introduced by the Central government.

Even as the fifth round of talks could not lead to any breakthrough, both the sides — farmers’ representatives and the government — have agreed to continue the dialogue on December 9.

The fifth round of talks between the government and the farmers’ leaders remained inconclusive on Saturday with both sides adamant on their stand over the three contentious farm laws. The farmers have asserted that the protest will continue if the government doesn’t repeal the three farm laws.

(IANS)