Kolkata: In the run-up to the nationwide bandh on Monday called by 400 farmers' organisations as well as central trade unions, preparations in West Bengal are underway.
“The mood of the people is conducive and the issues we are raising are important ones,” said Amal Halder, All Indian Kisan Sabha leader and convenor of the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC).
The central trade unions as well as the Left parties have supported the nationwide strike. CITU leader Anandi Sahu, speaking to NewsClick, said: “The strike call has been given as the Centre is going ahead with its anti-people policies, not paying heed to the farmers’ movement or to that of the trade unions.”
While the AIKSCC has given a call for the bandh between 6 am and 4 pm, the trade unions have called for a 24-hour general strike on September 27.
In East Burdwan district of West Bengal, despite alleged resistance from the ruling party, a few rallies were organised by farmers ahead of the nationwide Bandh.
In the state capital, however, a rally organised to support the bandh was cut short by the police, citing violation of social distancing norms. Protests were organised at Tollygunge and Shyambazar. Speaking there at a rally, Kallol Majumdar, Kolkata district Secretary of CPI(M) said that POLice highhandedness on bandh supporters is unbearable . preparations are on in the Kolkata port and haldia port for a successful strike .
In West Burdwan district, a 24-hour strike was successfully observed in Raniganj. The steel workers from Durgapur have vowed to take part in the nationwide strike. Loading and unloading workers at the railway siding, too, will extend their support to the strike on September 24 along with bidi workers and agriculturalists from Purulia.
Farmers from Hooghly have already been hit by the fluctuating prices of potatoes and are worried that the farm laws may aggravate the crises they have been facing. They plan to support the nationwide bandh to support the agitation and get the new farm laws scrapped.
The Howrah city, too, witnessed a number of rallies in support of the bandh to be observed on Monday.