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Bharat Bandh tomorrow; Bank union, political parties to join strike. All you need to know

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date

Bharat Bandh, Farmers’ protest: The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), the umbrella body of over 40 farm unions leading the farmers’ agitation against the Centre’s three farm laws, has called for nationwide strike — Bharat Bandh — on 27 September, the day their ongoing protest completes 10 months.

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Many opposition parties have expressed their support to the bandh call given by the protesting farmers. While Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi has supported the bandh, Leader of Opposition in Bihar Assembly Tejashwi Yadav has announced that he will participate in the nationwide strike.

All you need to know about Bharat Bandh

Bharat Bandh Timings

The bandh will be held from six in the morning to four in the evening during which all government and private offices, educational and other institutions, shops, industries and commercial establishments as well as public events and functions will be closed throughout the country.

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However, all emergency establishments and essential services, including hospitals, medical stores, relief and rescue work and people attending to personal emergencies will be exempted. The bandh will be enforced in a voluntary and peaceful manner, the SKM has assured.

Bank officers’ union extends support to ‘Bharat Bandh’

The All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AlBOC) has extended its support to the bandh on Monday. It has requested the government to have dialogue with the farmers on their demands and rescind the three laws at the centre of standoff.

The confederation said that its affiliates and state units will join in solidarity with the protest actions of the farmers all over the country on Monday. The union questioned the Centre’s plan of doubling farmers’ income by 2022 by citing the NSS Land and Livestock holdings of Households and Situation Assessment of Agricultural Households, 2018-19 report released earlier this month.

The average outstanding loan per agricultural household has increased to ₹74,121 in 2018 from ₹47,000 in 2013. The growing indebtedness of agricultural households reflects deep farm distress, it union said.

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Tejashwi Yadav to participate in ‘Bharat Bandh’

Former Bihar Deputy CM and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav has also extended his support to farmers’ call for Bharat Bandh on September 27. In a tweet, Tejashwi Yadav on Friday said that in the meeting of the top leaders of the grand alliance parties held at the residence, it was unanimously decided to participate and support the Bharat Bandh called on September 27, “in protest against the anti-farmer policies of the NDA government. We are firm with the farmers”.

Following a two-day national convention at the Singhu border last month, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) had called for a ‘Bharat Bandh’.

Kerala: Ruling LDF calls for bandh on September 27

Kerala’s ruling LDF has also called for a state-wide hartal on 27 September to express solidarity with the farmers. This call was announced by LDF convenor and CPI(M) acting secretary A Vijayaraghavan after the meeting of the leaders of the ruling party alliance in Thiruvananthapuram.

Speaking to media, Vijayaraghavan said five lakh people will participate in the protest. He claimed that over 100 organisations including motor transport workers, bank employees and farmers organisations have extended their support to the LDF agitation.

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SDPI backs farmers’ call for Bharath Bandh

The Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) has extended its support to SKM’s call for Bharat Bandh. “Social Democratic Party of India announces its solidarity to Bharath Bandh on September 27,” said National General Secretary of SDPI Elyas Muhammad Thumbe in an official statement. He further stated that the party has been supporting the farmers’ agitation since its inception and conducted hundreds of protests throughout the country against farm acts.

Terming farm laws as “disastrous to Indian agrarian community” he said that they will only be beneficial to the capitalists and feudal sections. “Union BJP Government has no concerns on farmers demands,” said the SDPI leader.

Thousands of farmers, mainly from Haryana, Punjab and Western Uttar Pradesh, have been protesting since November 26 last year against the three enacted farm laws: Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

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