Is Bharat bandh today different from ongoing farmers' protest? 10 points | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Is Bharat bandh today different from ongoing farmers' protest? 10 points

Feb 16, 2024 01:04 AM IST

Bharat bandh, chakka jam, no toll in Haryana, chalo Dilli – all protests to merge on Friday with demands for farmers.

Samyukta Kisan Morcha, a farmers' union, has called a Gramin Bharat Bandh on February 16 between 6am and 4pm. Since it is a gramin bandh, all agricultural activities will remain suspended. Village shops, markets, and businesses will remain closed as many workers' unions have extended support to the bandh. Left parties and Congress too support the bandh. This bandh is different from the ongoing farmers' protest on the Punjab-Haryana border as these are two different protests called by different organisations but broadly they are the same -- as the demands are for the farmers.

Bharat Bandh call has been given by farmers and workers from 6am to 4pm on February 16, (PTI)
Bharat Bandh call has been given by farmers and workers from 6am to 4pm on February 16, (PTI)

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Bharat bandh tomorrow and farmers' protest | Here is all you need to know

1. Farmers mainly from Punjab started 'Chalo Dilli' on February 13 demanding a legal guarantee of MSP among many other things. Samyukta Kisan Morcha (non-political) and Kisan Mazdoor Morcha called this protest. Their aim was to come to Delhi but they have been stopped on the Punjab-Haryana borders by the Haryana police. Since February 13 night, these farmers have been camping on the borders.

2. Farmers' unions have seen many splinters since their protest in 2020-21 which forced the government to repeal three farm laws. While Samyukt Kisan Morcha did not join the Chalo Dilli protest, it is the SKM -- the umbrella body -- that called the Gramin Bharat bandh tomorrow, along with Central Trade Unions. SKM (non-political) is a faction of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha.

3. The demands of both protests are the same -- MSP for all crops based on the Swaminathan commission recommendation, legal guarantee of procurement, debt waiver, no hike in electricity tariff and no smart metres. They also demanded free 300 units of power for farming, for domestic use and for shops, comprehensive crop insurance, and a hike in pensions to 10,000 per month among others.

4. Farmers' protest escalated on Thursday with Bharatiya Kisan Union giving a call to not pay toll in Haryana. This is one of the decisions taken by the farmers' union internally. "Three decisions were taken today: first is that we will keep Haryana toll free for 3 hours tomorrow from 12pm. to 3pm; the day after tomorrow, there will be a tractor parade in every Tehsil, from 12pm; on February 18, there will be a joint meeting of all farmers' and labour organisations," Gurnam Singh Charuni said.

5. Gramin Bharat bandh is a joint call by SKM and Central Trade Unions to suspend all agricultural work between 6am and 4pm. Economist Prabhat Patnaik, historian Irfan Habib, economic historian Nasir Tyabji, cultural activist Anil Chandra, and journalist P Sainath are among the noted personalities who supported the strike.

6. Gramin Bharat Bandh and the farmers' protest will merge on February 16 as farmers will join a chakka jam on the main roads nationwide from 12pm to 4pm. Transport is likely to be hit across the country. Highways will remain closed in Punjab as the government is supporting the protest.

7. Bharat Bandh will ensure that no emergency services are affected but no farmer, agricultural workers or rural worker will work on Friday,

8. On Bharat bandh, supply and purchase of vegetables and other crops will remain suspended.

9. Amid the ongoing farmers' protest, Congress said it will provide a legal guarantee to MSP if it is elected to power. This started a political slugfest as the BJP asked why the party had not implemented the Swaminathan Commission report in 2010 when it was in power.

10. Though SKM said students going to exams will not face any problem because of Gramin Bharat Bandh, there are demands to postpone exams in Punjab where the impact of the strike will be the highest.

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