Punjab braces for bandh against Centre’s three agriculture bills today
Activists of 31 farmer bodies to stage day-long dharnas; political parties, except BJP, besides social and religious organisations, too extend support for the stirUpdated: Sep 25, 2020, 01:46 IST
Nearly all farmer unions in Punjab have joined hands to observe a statewide bandh on Friday (September 25) with various social and religious organisations coming out in their supportagainst the Central government’s contentious agriculture bills that were passed in both Houses of Parliament.
At least 31 farmer bodies, including various factions of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), sangharsh committees and mazdoor sabhas, have divided the state into different zones where the activists will stage the day-long dharnas.
On Thursday, hectic parleys were going on to finalise the modalities of the sit-ins.
Jagmohan Singh Patiala, an office-bearer of the All-India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee which is leading the protests, said they are opposing the draconian legislations which the NDA government has decided to impose on the country’s farmers.
NEVER RECEIVED SUCH
RESPONSE, SAYS BKU
BS Rajewal, who heads a faction of the BKU, said, “We have never received such an overwhelming response to the protests in the past. Scores of social and religious bodies have come in support for the farmers’ cause. Even the political parties, except the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), have extended to us their support.”
“Today, activists of farm bodies took out motorcycle rallies in different parts of the state requesting the traders and shopkeepers to keep the markets shut on Friday,” he added.
The farmer unions are pressing for repealing the bills besides asking the Amarinder Singh-led Congress government in Punjab to bring in a resolution in the Vidhan Sabha not to implement the legislations, which they say, will bring to an end the system of open-ended assured procurement and minimum support price (MSP) while the entire agricultural operations will go into the hands of the corporate houses.
SAD GEARS UP FOR
A PARALLEL SHOW
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), an alliance partner of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which runs government at the Centre, has also decided to organise parallel protests (‘chakka jam’) after Bathinda MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal resigned as the Union food processing industries minister.
Many farmer organisations feel that the SAD planned a parallel protest to torpedo their stir for which preparations were already going on. SAD spokesperson Dalit Cheema said their party cadre will hit the roads in full strength. The party has asked its MLAs, halqa incahrges, and district chiefs to mobilise their workers.
CONG ASKS MLAs, CADRE
TO SHOW SOLIDARITY
Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Sunil Jakhar has asked the party MLAs and other leaders in all the districts to show solidarity with the protesting farm bodies and provide them all support besides offering langar.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) too has decided to support the farmers’ protest. “Our activists will sit with the farmers during the protests. We are in discussions as to how the senior leadership of our party will move out,” said Harpal Singh Cheema, leader of opposition in Punjab assembly.