After supporting farm bills, YSRCP backs Bharat Bandh

After supporting farm bills in Parliament last year, YSRCP backs Bharat Bandh

The shutdown was peaceful in Andhra Pradesh with schools closed and state road transport services suspended till afternoon

Representative image. Credit: PTI Photo

Exactly a year after supporting the passage of the controversial farm bills in Parliament, the YSRCP government of Jaganmohan Reddy has on Monday extended support for the Bharat Bandh observed to fight back against the legislation.

The shutdown was peaceful in Andhra Pradesh with schools closed and state road transport services suspended till afternoon. Normal life was affected as shops and establishments too downed their shutters for first half of the day.

On Saturday, minister for information and transport Perni Venkataramaiah stated that the YSRCP government has declared its total support for the bandh call given by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of farmer unions on agitation near New Delhi for the past several months.

Read | Bharat Bandh disrupts lives in pockets, roads blocked

The minister said that his government and party support the concern of the farmers and also the workers of the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, which the Narendra Modi government has planned to privatise.

In September 2020, the YSRCP, which has a strength of 22 Lok Sabha MPs and six Rajya Sabha MPs, had supported the centre on the two farm bills, like it had backed the Citizenship Amendment Act earlier. The YSRCP had changed its position on CAA too later, calling it discriminatory.

The fresh U-turn has attracted criticism from the BJP. “With what authority is the YSRCP, which had then supported the farm bills, is now backing the Bharat Bandh?,” questioned state unit chief Somu Veerraju. Somu also shared a video clip of YSRCP Parliamentary leader Vijayasai Reddy stating his party's endorsement for the bills in Rajya Sabha.

Non-BJP parties like the TDP, Left have held protests in support of the bandh in AP.

The ruling TRS party had opposed the farm bills in Parliament.

Congress and Left parties organised protests in some places but overall the bandh call evoked tepid response in Telangana, while the K Chandrasekhar Rao government remained distant from the bandh call.

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