Farmers claim success, "Bandh" evokes mixed response across country
New Delhi, December 8, 2020
The farmers' unions have claimed that the "Bharat Bandh" called by them was successful and the people supported their cause even as the nationwide general strike on Tuesday evoked a mixed response across the country.
After the bandh, the farmers addressed a joint press conference and claimed that they have got support from two more farmers unions and now they are a total of 32 organisations.
Farmer leader Gurnam Singh said that the government which said that it will not let the farmers enter Delhi has invited them for talks. The farmers are slated to meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah without any preconditions.
The deadlock between the farmers and the government is continuing with both sides not able to reach a consensus on the issue.
The farmers said that this movement is under the banner of the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha. "The government should see that it is not the shutdown of only farmers but of the whole nation and now they should understand that there is no way out," said Gurnam Singh.
Bhog Singh Maansa of the BKU claimed that "All the producers, consumers are with us. From labourers to corporates everyone has supported us."
"It's not only Kisan, this is a big achievement because of more than 450 associations and everyone has associated himself with the movement and shutdown. Kaveri Delta in Tamil Nadu was shut down completely."
The shutdown -- from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. -- focused primarily on "chakka jams" (no vehicular movement). However, its effect on the movement of vehicles was partial as no major jams were reported. The morning peak hour traffic movement was by and large normal across the country except in a few states.
A partial impact of the Bharat Bandh was seen in vegetable "mandis" (markets) in the national capital and various other states. There was some impact of the "Bandh" call on inter-state bus services with passengers reaching railway stations a bit early.
State and city borders were open, and public vehicles like auto-rickshaws, taxis, aggregator cabs and a few heavy vehicles carrying essential items were witnessed moving on the roads.
Wholesale markets, retail vegetable markets and local vendors were functioning partially in many states.
A cold response was seen in Tamil Nadu while there was growing solidarity for the farmers cause in Odisha and Telangana. In Uttar Pradesh, Samajwadi Party workers stopped the Bundelkhand Express at Prayagraj, leading to a scuffle with the police as Samajwadi Party workers squatted on the railway track.
Very few vehicles were seen on the roads in Bihar in the morning where the Mahagathbandhan led by Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav spearheaded support for the "Bharat Bandh".