Opposition backs farmers’ call for ‘Bharat Bandh’ on Dec 8, protests held in US, UK | 10 points

The ongoing farmers’ agitation entered Day-11 on Sunday with protestors refusing to budge from their position. Ahead of the call for ‘Bharat Bandh’ on December 8, Opposition parties from across the country extended support to farmers demanding the complete withdrawal of the central government’s three new farm laws.

A delegation of farmers’ representatives is scheduled to meet senior members of the Union government, including Minister for Agriculture Narendra Singh Tomar at Vigyan Bhawan in Delhi on Wednesday. Farmer leaders maintain that they will settle for nothing less than a complete withdrawal of the new farm laws.

Here are top 10 developments:

1. Addressing a press conference on Sunday, farmer leader Baldev Singh Nihalgarh said that ambulances and wedding processions will be allowed to pass during the ‘Bharat Bandh’ on December 8. He added that ‘Chakka Jaam’ will go on till 3 pm Wednesday.

2. Boxer Vijender Singh joined the farmers’ protest at Singhu (Delhi-Haryana) border on Sunday. Addressing protestors, Singh, who is India’s first Olympic medallist in boxing, said he would return his Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award if the central government does not repeal the new farm laws.

3. On Sunday, demonstrators staged ‘kisaan rallies’ outside the Indian Consulate in San Francisco, London, Toronto and Melbourne among other places. Visuals of demonstrators holding placards in solidarity with the farmers’ agitation are doing rounds on social media.

4. Opposition parties from across the country extended support to the ‘Bharat Bandh’. These include the Congress, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Samajwadi Party, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Shiv Sena, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), CPI(M), CPI, CPI(ML), All India Forward Bloc (AIFB), Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP). In addition, the call for ‘Bharat Bandh’ had already garnered the support of the Trinamool Congress and DMK among others.

5. Forums that have already pledged their support to the farmers include Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), All India United Trade Union Centre (AIUTUC) and Trade Union Co-ordination Centre (TUCC).

6. NCP chief Sharad Pawar will be a part of a delegation of Opposition leaders who will meet President Ram Nath Kovind on December 9 to discuss the ongoing farmers’ agitation and demands presented by farmer leaders before the central government.

7. In a statement, actor Kamal Haasan’s political outfit Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) said a delegation of its members will meet agitating farmers in Delhi on Monday and issue a statement in support of the agitation thereafter.

8. Haryana is at the centre of the ongoing farmers’ agitation. On Sunday, Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij said medical camps will be set up for farmers protesting at various border points.

9. The All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD), in a letter to PM Modi, sought help to maintain the supply of medicines in northern India. In its letter, AIOCD said the farmers’ agitation has disrupted the transportation of medicines.

10. On Sunday, Union Minister for Agriculture Narendra Singh Tomar met with MoS Parshottam Rupala and MoS Kailash Choudhary to discuss the upcoming meeting between the Centre and farmers’ representatives. Another such meeting between the three union ministers is expected to take place on Monday.

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