Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur demanding a complete repeal of the three farm laws and a legal guarantee for the minimum support price on their crops.
Confederation of All India Traders, which claimed representation of eight crore traders in the the country, said that markets will remain open on March 26 as it is not participating in the ‘Bharat Bandh’.
“We are not going to participate in ‘Bharat Bandh’ tomorrow. Markets will remain open in Delhi and other parts of the country. The ongoing deadlock can be resolved only through dialogue process. There should be discussions on amendments in the farm laws that can make existing farming profitable,” CAIT’s national general secretary Praveen Khandelwal told PTI.
The statement issued by the SKM claimed that various farmers’ organisations, trade unions, student organizations, bar associations, political parties and representatives of state governments have supported the bandh call of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha.
Farmer leader Abhimanyu Kohar, who is also senior member of Samkyukta Kisan Morcha, said that the major impact of the ‘Bharat Bandh’ will be felt in Haryana and Punjab.
Kohar said that farmers have appealed to trader associations to close their shops during the nationwide shutdown as the three new agri laws will also affect them indirectly.
The farmer leader said that in poll-bound Tamil Nadu, Assam, West Bengal, Kerala and Puducherry, the Samkyukta Kisan Morcha has appealed to people to not observe ‘Bandh’ there.
Apart from repealing of three farm laws, the demands of protesting union include cancellation of all police cases against farmers, withdrawal of electricity bill and pollution bill and reduction in prices of diesel, petrol and gas.
So far, there have been 11 rounds of talks between the protesting unions and government, but deadlock continued as both sides stuck to their stand.
In January, the government had offered to suspend the farm laws for 12-18 months, which was rejected by the farmer unions.