Maharashtra bandh to show solidarity with farmers, says MVA
The Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) allies on Saturday said that statewide bandh announced on October 11 to protest the killing of farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri is to display that Maharashtra is with the farmers of the country. Essential services have been exempted from the bandh, the leaders said.
Senior leaders of the MVA, including Sena leader Sanjay Raut, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) minister Nawab Malik and Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant, said that the one-day strike on Monday will be successful. Raut said that Shiv Sena will participate in the bandh in full strength. Four farmers were mowed down by an SUV while they were returning from the protest against the Central government’s farm laws in Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh on October 3. The farmers alleged that Ashish Mishra, son of Union minister of home Ajay Mishra, was in the vehicle and later fled the scene.
“Shiv Sena will participate in the bandh with its full strength. All three parties will actively participate in the bandh. What happened in Lakhimpur Kheri was a murder of the country’s Constitution, a violation of the law and a conspiracy to kill the food-provider (annadata) farmers of the country. To awaken the people of the state and to tell the farmers that we are with them, MVA has announced a complete bandh on October 11,” said Raut, who was flanked by Malik and Sawant, in a press conference in Mumbai.
Malik said that workers of the three parties across the state would meet people, shopkeepers, etc., and seek support for the bandh. “We appeal to people that they must come together. We must keep our work shut for one day; shopkeepers on their own must keep shops shut. Workers of the three parties will request shops, establishments and people to show support for the farmers,” said Malik.
The NCP minister further said that the bandh would come into force from Sunday midnight. He said, “We appeal to all the workers to not create any issues for the essential services, such as hospitals, ambulance, medical stories, milk supply, during the bandh.”
The three leaders targeted the BJP-led Centre over the killing of farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri. Congress leader said that the incident was a “blot on humanity” and a “stain on the democracy”.
“It is a blot on humanity how the peacefully protesting farmers were crushed to death. The accused, who are shielded, this is nothing but a stain on Indian democracy,” he said.
Malik called the incident a “massacre” and said BJP has become a party that kills farmers. “Despite such a massacre, they (government) were initially not ready to register a case. Like [NCP chief Sharad] Pawar saheb said that the country had not seen a cruel incident since Jallianwala Baug. The BJP has branded farmers protests as Khalistanis and terrorists... Until now, we use to say that BJP does not care for the farmers, but they are plunderers of their produce. After the Lakhimpur Kheri incident, BJP has become a party that kills farmers,” Malik said.