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Big support for bandh in Punjab, Haryana

Big support for bandh in Punjab, Haryana 2

Tuesday’s ‘Bharat Bandh’ received wide support in Punjab and Haryana, the epicentre of the farmer’s agitation. The call for general strike given by several farmer unions to protest against three central farm laws was supported by traders and other communities too resulting in large-scale blockade of services.

Non-BJP ruled Maharashtra, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh made sure that the bandh was successful with closure of major markets and mandis. However, in BJP-ruled states, the general strike was limited to pockets. The bandh was a success in NDA administered Bihar.

Road traffic in Punjab and Haryana came to a halt. All commercial establishments remained closed in Punjab as the bandh was supported by traders too. Even liquor shops were shut. In Haryana, all major highways and important roads were blocked by farmers from morning. The trading community backed farmers in most places in Haryana too and shops remained closed.

UP: Markets largely remained open in Uttar Pradesh, reflecting a lukewarm support to the farmers’ call. In Noida, malls and markets remained open. Many leaders of Samajwadi Party and Congress were put under preventive house arrest across the state. SP MLCs organised a silent protest in the premises of the assembly in the morning. Even though the Bahujan Samaj Party supported the national strike, its workers were absent at protest venues. The bandh had impact in Meerut, Saharanpur and other areas of western UP but eased as the day progressed.

Bihar: The bandh was visible in all important district centres of the state, with RJD workers taking the lead. There were small scuffles at one or two places but it largely remained peaceful. Other parties such as Congress and Left also participated in the bandh.

Gujarat: The state saw a mixed response. Farmer leaders were detained while protesting in Bhavnagar Ahmedabad Highway. Leader of Opposition Paresh Dhanani and several other Congress leaders were also detained by the police across the state. Several Congress legislators were detained as they set out to implement the bandh.

Maharashtra: Agriculture Produce Market Committee outlets were shut throughout the state in solidarity with the protesting farmers. Shops and establishments in several parts of the state remained open until cadres from the Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP ‘persuaded’ them to down their shutters. Transport services were paralysed in a few districts as state transport buses did not ply as a precaution. BEST services were also affected.

Jharkhand: The bandh evoked a mixed response in Jharkhand with all central and state government offices open. Private institutions and shops were closed in some areas, while local traffic was near normal but long-distance vehicles remained off the roads.

Northeast: There was some response to the bandh in Assam and Tripura but hardly any in other NE states. In Assam and Tripura some business establishments, shops, schools, colleges, educational institutions remained closed. Government transport was on in Assam.

Telangana and Andhra: The ruling TRS and YSRCP ensured the bandh was a success, with its workers actively participating in protests. It was a partial shutdown in Hyderabad where the bandh was enforced by TRS cadre, amid resistance from citizens and shopkeepers.

Karnataka and Tamil Nadu: Ruled by BJP and its ally AIADMK, respectively, the governments foiled the bandh by keeping all government offices open and running public transport. In both the states, bandh was observed in towns and cities excluding state capitals. Shopkeepers downed their shutters in a show of solidarity with farmers.

Kerala: The state where bandhs are usually a grand success, Tuesday was different as it was a polling day for urban body elections in parts of the state including the capital, Thiruvananthapuram.

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