Farmers firm on bandh; Karnataka govt promises normalcy

Farmers firm on bandh; Karnataka govt promises normalcy

The morcha is an umbrella body of over 40 farm unions spearheading the farmers' agitation

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai. Credit: PTI Photo

Farmers’ outfits in Karnataka are chalking out plans to make Monday’s Bharat bandh a success, amid growing dissent against the bandh call.

The state government has put in place elaborate security measures to ensure that there is no disturbance to daily activities.

The ‘Rasta Roko’ on major national and state highways during the bandh will be held from dawn to dusk, the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha said on Saturday.

“We will observe bandh from 6 am to 6 pm against the anti-farmer stand of the Centre. Besides blocking the highways, we will also stop trains,” Kodihalli Chandrashekhar, president of KRRS, said.

The bandh call has left several organisations divided in the state.

While a few organisations have expressed their support for the bandh, many others have decided to continue with their activities, while extending moral support to the farmers.

“Considering the losses incurred due to the pandemic and lockdown, we have decided not to close the schools. All schools will function, with staffers wearing green badges,” D Shashi Kumar, general secretary, KAMS, said.

Also read: Congress backs Bharat Bandh called by agitating farmer unions

Dr Vishal R, commissioner, department of public instruction, said, “We will take a decision keeping in mind the law and order situation.”

The autorickshaw and taxi drivers’ associations have clarified that it is impossible to stop plying the vehicles, considering the losses incurred during the lockdown.

But organisations of theatre and cinema artistes, writers and thinkers have expressed their support for the bandh.

“It is not just farmers. The Centre’s policies are aimed at exploiting the working class, while strengthening the capitalists and entrepreneurs,” the association said in a statement.

Buses to ply

The state-run KSRTC has sought protection from the police department for its operations.

BMTC said buses will be operational and has written to the police commissioner, seeking security. 

CM decries bandh call

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said on Saturday that business and other activities had started returning to normalcy after one-and-a-half years, and obstructing them in the name of bandh now was not correct, reports DHNS from Hubballi.

He said people have started recovering from the impact of the pandemic now, as Covid-19 cases have come down drastically. Holding a bandh at this juncture would have an adverse impact on day-to-day life, he told reporters on his way to Belagavi.

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