More than 200 organisations and anti-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) parties in Maharashtra have joined forces to make the Samyukta Kisan Morcha’s (SKM) Bharat Bandh, which will be held against the Narendra Modi government’s three farm laws on September 27, successful.
At a meeting held under the chairmanship of Bhalchandra Kango, working committee member, All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), to prepare for the strike in Mumbai on September 20, it was decided that farmers, labourers, teachers, students, Anganwadi and sanitation workers and youths will support the nationwide strike. It was also decided that besides demanding the repeal of the farm laws, the protesters will also call for reducing the prices of petrol and diesel and withdrawal of the National Monetisation Pipeline.
“The Modi government thinks that it can muzzle the common man’s voice and help its cronies because of its Lok Sabha majority. But history has shown that no government can survive by ignoring the interests of the common man,” Kango said at the meeting.
Narrating the historic struggle of farmers, Ashok Dhawale, president, All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), said that peasants are determined to fight against the three laws. “Eight months have passed since the protests started but the farmers haven’t relented. Farmers, women, youths and students are already on roads. No divisionary politics can break the unity against the laws, intended to help billionaires. The upcoming strike will show the will of the masses,” Dhawale said.
The meeting was addressed by Vidya Chavan (NCP), Ulka Mahajan (Sarvahara Jan Andolan), Teesta Setalvad (Sabrang India), Raju Korde (Peasnats and Workers Party), Meraj Siddiqui (Samajwadi Party), Dhananjay Shinde (Aam Aadmi Party), Prabhakar Narkar (Janata Dal-Secular), SK Rege (Communist Party of India - Marxist), Prakash Reddy (Communist Party of India), Feroz Mithiborwala (Hum Bharat Ke Log), Anil Tyagi (Socialist Unity Centre of India), Kishor Dhamale (SCP), Subhash Kakuste (LNP), Vivek Monteiro (Centre of Indian Trade Unions), professor Tapati Mukhopadhyay (MFUCTO), Milind Ranade (New Trade Union Initiative), Yuvraj Ghatkal (National Alliance of People's Movement), Prachi Hatiwlekar (All India Democratic Women's Association) and leaders of several other organisations. The organisations and the parties pledged to make the strike successful.
After the meeting, Dhawale and Chavan met Congress state president and former speaker of the Assembly, Nana Patole, Nationalist Congress Party state president and minister Jayant Patil, deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar and minister Jitendra Avhad, who promised the support of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi to the Bharat Bandh.