Protesting farmers have called for a “Bharat Bandh” on December 8 after several rounds of talks with the Central government have not yielded any result. Farmers, mainly from Punjab and Haryana, have been agitating on the outskirts of Delhi against the three new farm laws. Last week, they said that they would occupy toll plazas on December 8.
Farmer unions have also threatened to intensify their agitation and block more roads leading to the national capital if the government does not accept their demand.
“In our meeting today, we have decided to give a ‘Bharat Bandh’ call on December 8 during which we will also occupy all toll plazas,” sources reported on December 4, quoting a farmer leader named Harvinder Singh Lakhwal. Agitating farmers say that the new farm laws would do away with the minimum support price (MSP) system, leaving them at the “mercy” of big corporations.
Bharat Bandh 8th December: Latest updates
- Commuters in Delhi may face problems as some auto and taxi unions in the city have decided to join ‘Bharat Bandh’ on December 8 called by farmers unions protesting against the recent farm laws. However, many other unions have decided to continue normal service despite their support to the demand raised by the farmers..
- The DMK-led opposition bloc in Tamil Nadu on Sunday extended support to the December 8 ‘Bharat bandh’ called for by farmers agitating against the Centre’s farm laws, saying their demand for the repealing of the three legislations was “totally justified.”
- Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday visited the Singhu border, where thousands of farmers are protesting against the Centre’s new farm laws, and checked arrangements made for them by the city government. The visit comes a day after the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) extended its support to the ‘Bharat Bandh’ called by farmers’ organizations on December 8.
Delhi Traffic Police have issued traffic alerts for commuters through Twitter. “Singhu, Auchandi, Piao Maniyari, Mangesh borders are closed. NH 44 is closed on both sides. Take alternate routes via Lampur, Safiabad, Saboli borders. Traffic has been diverted from Mukarba and GTK road. Avoid Outer Ring Rd, GTK Road, NH 44,” tweeted the traffic police.
Minister of State for Agriculture Kailash Choudhary on Sunday reiterated that the farm laws would not be repealed, sources reported. However, he added that some amendments to the Acts can be made to acknowledge agitating farmers’ demands.
“These laws passed by the government will give freedom to farmers. We always said farmers should have the right to sell their crop wherever they want. Even Swaminathan Commission’s report recommends that. I don’t think the laws should be repealed,” said Choudhary.
The opposition is also demanding that the farm laws be completely annulled.
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