Lucknow: The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) in Uttar Pradesh (UP) has started mass mobilisation of farmers for the September 27 Bharat Bandh, announced by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) to demand legal guarantees for minimum support prices and withdrawal of three farm laws.
The BKU, one of the leading farmers union in UP, mainly in western part of the state, said that the nationwide strike will likely impact the sugarcane belt and Awadh region. “The Bharat Bandh will be a new chapter in the history of the farmers movement in the country. The BKU, which has also appealed to workers to make the strike successful, has held several rounds of preparatory meetings in all the districts. BKU will block the main roads from 6 am to 4 pm in every district,” BJU spokesperson Dharmendra Malik told Newsclick.
Rajendra Chaudhary, a farmer who is persuading peasants to join the Bharat Bandh, said that there is widespread resentment among people against the apathetic attitude of the Union government. The SKM has appealed to all sections of society to participate in the strike with full strength.
“In western UP, all roads and markets, except essential services, would be shut. Farmer leaders have had meetings with traders and several of them have extended support to the farmers and would keep their shops closed on September 27,” Malik added.
The farmers union has decided to rope in professional folk theatre groups to organise street plays to create awareness about the farm laws in Ballia and adjacent districts.
Amit Singh, one of the organisers, told Newsclick that “farmers will easily relate their plight to folk songs and street plays”.
Mukut Singh, general secretary, All India Kisan Sabha, said the SKM office-bearers are organising village- and block-level meetings of farmers and activists so that maximum people could join the strike. “The fight against the government will intensify in coming days. A back-to-back rally and a mahapanchayat will be held in the state,” he informed Newsclick.
CPI national secretary Atul Kumar Anjan told Newsclick “preparations are on full swing across the country to make the Bharat Bandh successful”. Workers, trade unions, student-youth organisations, women’s organisations and small businessmen, writers and artists have extended their support to the strike, he added.