Bharat Bandh on March 26: What you need to know
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), a coalition of farmers' unions, has called for a nationwide strike or Bharat Bandh on Friday, March 26. The strike, in protest against three controversial farm laws passed by the central government last year, will be observed throughout the day tomorrow. Several Opposition parties have extended support to the strike call. Here's all you need to know about it.
Strike to be observed from 6 am to 6 pm
The strike will be observed from 6 am to 6 pm tomorrow. As part of it, all business establishments will remain shut during the said period and no road and rail traffic will be allowed to ply, the farm unions announced. Further, on March 28, the occasion of "Holika Dahan," copies of the three farm laws will be burnt by farmers, union leaders said.
Farmer leaders urge citizens to make strike successful
The SKM has appealed to all citizens to make the strike on March 26 a success. Farmer leader Buta Singh Burjgill said, "Peaceful bandh will remain effective from morning till evening." Meanwhile, the Bhartiya Kisan Morcha said, "In order to make Bharat Bandh successful, all District President, the Block President/Tehsil President and top officials should coordinate to ensure that the bandh is made successful."
Opposition parties extend support to the strike
The strike call has received support from several Opposition parties. Congress leader Digvijaya Singh tweeted, "We support the call for Bharat Bandh on 26th March against the three Anti-Farmers Bill." Parties like the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP), which is in power in Andhra Pradesh, and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) have also extended support to it.
Second 'bandh' announced by farmers
Notably, this is the second nationwide strike called by the protesting farmers. The first Bharat Bandh was held on December 8 and was observed in several states such as Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Assam. The Congress, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), and several trade unions across the country had voiced support for the cause back then.
What is the farmers' protest all about?
Thousands of farmers, from states like Punjab, Haryana, and UP, have been camping at borders of the National Capital to protest against the three agricultural laws. They are demanding a complete withdrawal of the laws and multiple rounds of discussions between them and the government have failed to end the agitation. The farmers claim that the laws will make them vulnerable to big corporates.