Nation

Our ‘Bharat Bandh’ was successful, we had full support of farmers: BKU leader Rakesh Tikait

New Delhi: Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait hailed the ‘Bharat Bandh’ held on Monday (September 37) on the anniversary of the enactment of the three contentious farm laws as successful.

He said the bandh call received full support from the farmers across the country.

“Our ‘Bharat Bandh’ was successful. We had the full support of farmers. We can’t seal down everything as we have to facilitate the movement of people,” said Tikait.

“We are ready for talks with the government, but no talks are happening,” he added.

He specifically attacked UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath saying the government had failed to increase sugarcane value as was promised in the BJP’s election manifesto.

“He (Adityanath) had promised in the manifesto to raise the value of sugarcane to Rs 375-Rs 450, yet he increased only Rs 25. He should give an account of the losses faced. The govt has failed completely. Crops are not being sold at MSP rates,” Tikait said.

The farmers’ unions had given a call for a nationwide strike from 6 am to 4 pm. The impact was seen across the country.

About 25 trains were affected due to the Bandh, a railway official said.

“More than 20 locations are being blocked in Delhi, Ambala, and Firozepur divisions. About 25 trains are affected due to this,” a spokesperson for the Northern Railway said.

Officials said the Delhi-Amritsar Shan-e-Punjab, New Delhi-Moga Express, Old Delhi-Pathankot Express, Vande Bharat Express from New Delhi to Katra, and Amritsar Shatabdi are some of the trains that have been affected.

The bandh, which began at 6 am today caused disruptions in traffic movement of Delhi and neighbouring states of Haryana and Punjab. Traffic movement at the Ghazipur border and the Dhansa Border were affected with Delhi Traffic Police closing vehicular movement on the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh Ghazipur border for both carriageways.

Massive traffic snarls were seen at Gurugram-Delhi border as vehicles entering the national capital were checked by Delhi Police and paramilitary jawans. The Delhi Noida Direct (DND) flyway also witnessed massive traffic congestion. However, the police later said that the situation at the Gurugram-Delhi border and DND returned to normal.

The governments of Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Punjab, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh have extended their support to the bandh, and the effect of protest was seen in these states.

Protesters of several trade unions including the Indian National Trade Union Congress, Centre of Indian Trade Unions and All India Trade Union Congress form a human chain in Kerala’s Kochi to support the call for Bharat Bandh.

Several organisations carried out a rally from the Bengaluru Town Hall area to the Mysore bank circle to observe Bharat Bandh. The roads in Kerala`s Thiruvananthapuram wore a deserted look and shops are closed in as the trade unions affiliated to LDF and UDF have supported the call for Bharat Bandh.

Amid the Bharat Bandh, the Congress, which has extended its support to the agitating farmers, has said the Prime Minister should think about the problems being faced by the farmers, especially now when the input costs have increased.

Rahul Gandhi in a tweet in Hindi said, “The farmers non-violent satyagraha is intact today but the exploitive government doesn`t like this and that is why #Bharat is Bandh #IStandWithFarmers.”