Bharat Bandh: Heavy police deployment in Tamil Nadu as Opposition supports protest
About 100,000 policemen have been deployed in Tamil Nadu in view of the Bharat Bandh on Tuesday. The ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), an ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has supported the farm bills and does not want normal life disrupted due to the strike call given by the farmers. “The revenue department is taking all precautions so that there is no untoward incident and we will ensure that public transport services are not affected,” said senior AIADMK leader Vaigaichelvan.
The Opposition, led by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Congress, CPI (M) and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) have joined the Bharat Bandh and also appealed to the public, labour unions and traders to make it a success. “I appeal to shopkeepers, lorries, buses, auto owners and drivers to support the cause. Let us down shutters and bring roads to a standstill,” said VCK leader and MP Thol Thirumavalavan. Besides their associated trade unions of CITU, AITUC and INTUC, eight other trade unions will suspend work and join the bandh.
Actor-turned politician Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) has been supporting the protest. MNM party members, led by their farmer’s wing secretary Mayilsamy, joined the protests in Delhi on Sunday.
DMK leader MK Stalin launched stade-wide protests in support of farmers on Saturday. “We will continue to stand with farmers until the new bills are withdrawn,” Stalin said. “Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami who calls himself a farmer has blindly extended his party’s support to the farm bills,” he said.
CPI(M) has led several protests in Chennai, Coimbatore and Trichy from last week. Palaniswami has defended the three farm bills stating that farmers will benefit and will be protected when price drops.