Bharat Bandh tomorrow; states, Opposition parties back farmers' call
Farmers protesting against the central government's agricultural laws have called for a "Bharat Bandh" or general strike on Monday. September 27 notably marks the first anniversary of the day that President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to the three contentious farm laws. Several Opposition parties have supported the call for a bandh along with the Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu governments.
How long is the bandh? What all will be affected?
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM)—an umbrella body of farmers leading the protests—has called for a Bharat Bandh on September 27 between 6 am and 4 pm. All government/private offices, educational and other institutions, shops, industries, and commercial establishments, public events, and functions will be affected. However, essential services such as hospitals, relief, and rescue work, etc., will be exempted.
Andhra backs bandh; suspends bus services
The Andhra Pradesh government has supported the bandh. It has also decided to stop APSRTC buses from September 26 midnight to September 27 afternoon. The ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu has also backed calls for the bandh, asking farmers, traders, and the general public to join in. DMK's state agriculture wing chief NKK Periyasamy also said that the central government is autocratic.
Kerala: Transport workers, bank employees, farmers join strike
Kerala's ruling LDF has also called for a state-wide strike on Monday in solidarity with farmers. Five lakh people and over 100 organizations—including motor transport workers, bank employees, and farmers groups—will support the protest, LDF convenor and CPI(M) acting secretary A Vijayaraghavan said.
Congress, DMK also support farmers' protest
The Indian National Congress also supported calls for a Bharat Bandh on Monday. The Centre has systematically assaulted the agriculture sector in the past seven years, Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh said, highlighting that at least 600 protesting farmers have died in the agitation so far. Former Bihar Deputy CM and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav also backed the bandh, against the Centre's "anti-farmer policies."
All India Bank Officers' Confederation backs bandh
Separately, the All India Bank Officers' Confederation has also decided to join the general strike. The confederation has urged the Centre to reopen dialogue with farmer leaders; asking it to repeal the farm laws and listen to the protesters' demands.