Patna: Thousands of members of the Opposition Mahagathbandhan including Left parties’ workers took to the streets on March 26, as part of the bandh in protest against the police action against opposition MLAs as well as unemployment, rising prices and the farm laws.
The Opposition Mahagathbandhan has also extended support to the farmers’ unions' call for a Bharat Bandh on March 26 against the Centre's farm laws.
In Bihar, the shutdown was called by Mahagathbandhan and supported by other Opposition parties and resulted in blockade of railway tracks and roads across the state, which is ruled by the NDA government led by Nitish Kumar. The announcement for the bandh was made by Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav on Thursday, who also extended support to the Bharat Bandh called by the farmers.
According to reports, Left parties’ workers stopped trains at Laharia Sarai station in Darbhanga district and in Jehanabad and other stations. In Patna, the Truck Owners’ Association, Auto-rickshaw Federation also joined the shutdown with most of auto rickshaw remaining off the roads.
Meanwhile, hundreds of Mahagathbandhan workers blocked the main Gaya -Patna road in Jehanabad district, Hajipur-Patna road near Gandhi Setu in Vaishali district and in Begusarai, Khagaria and Samastipur districts. In Patna, dharnas were also staged across the city.
Left parties, including the Communist Party of India (CPI), CPI (Marxist), and CPI (Marxist-Leninst), which are part of the Mahagathbandhan, had announced their support to the farmer unions call for a Bharat Bandh against the farm laws. Slogan shouting supporters and workers of Left parties with red flags and banners in their hands along with other Opposition parties staged dharna at dozens of places in each of 38 districts of the state.
CPI (M) leader Manoj Kumar Chandrawansi said the shutdown was effective and successful in Patna and across the state
Earlier Tejashwi had slammed the NDA government led by Nitish Kumar on the Bihar Special Armed Police Bill, 2021. "We will not sit in silence; our protests against the Bill will continue till the government either withdraws it or will make an amendment to it. The Mahagathbandhan is not scared of police action," he had said.
He had also raised questions on Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's justification of police action against opposition members inside the Assembly, and asked him whether it was the first time that there was opposition to any Bill in the state Assembly.
He said the Bill was passed in the state Assembly with the help of the police that beat up, abused and misbehaved with Opposition Mahagathbandhan MLAs who were opposing the Bill. The Bill, introduced by the Nitish Kumar government, has apparently been introduced to give its police more teeth. The government claimed it was necessary in view of the increasingly complex security needs of the state.