Kerala

Govt., Oppn. support Bharath Bandh

The Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the United Democratic Front (UDF) have called a 24-hour general strike on September 27 in solidarity with the Bharath Bandh initiated by national-level farmers’ organisations.

With the ruling front and Opposition throwing their weight behind the bandh, life is likely to come to a halt in the State for nearly a day on Monday. Both fronts have exempted emergency services, milk distribution, medical stores, clinics, hospitals, COVID-19 vaccination centres, television channels, newspapers, and newspaper distribution agents from the ambit of the bandh.

Farmers in north India have been on the warpath against the BJP-led Central government for over a year, accusing the NDA of muscling ‘pro-corporate and anti-farmer’ laws through Parliament without incorporating the views of all stakeholders.

LDF convener A. Vijayaraghavan and Leader of the Opposition and UDF chairperson V.D. Satheesan declared support for the bandh. Both slammed the anti-farmer stance of the Centre. They said the laws would destroy livelihoods and sell the rural sector into corporate slavery.

Farmers would lose their say on what to grow and at which rate to sell their harvest. The laws also undermine the floor price structure and government procurement process. Pressed whether the shutdown would disrupt examination schedules, mobility, freight movement, retail and further hobble the COVID-19 cratered economy, Mr. Vijayaraghavan said: “Larger issues such as fuel price hike and destruction of the agrarian economy are at stake. The Centre is to blame for the state of affairs.”

Mr. Satheesan said the government should reschedule examinations for September 27. He hoped the public would cooperate with the bandh and lend support to the protesting farmers.

On general strike day, groups of LDF workers, not exceeding five, would hold demonstrations at the neighbourhood level across Kerala to spotlight the Centre's apathy towards protesting farmers. The UDF would also organise ward-level protests in support of the striking farmers.


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Printable version | Oct 24, 2021 9:45:44 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/govt-oppn-support-bharath-bandh/article36633611.ece

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