New Delhi, Sep 27 (IANS): Jai Kisan Andolan founder Yogendra Yadav on Monday said that today's Bharat Bandh evoked unprecedented response across the nation. Speaking to IANS, Yadav said that the day will prove a milestone in the history of the farmers movement. "Those demeaning the farmers agitation by calling it a movement of a few farmers have got a befitting reply today", added Yadav.
The day long Bharat Bandh was called by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) and other farmers unions to mark one year of the passing of the new farm laws. The bandh ended at 4 p.m. and traffic movement has resumed on all routes to the national capital which were blocked by the agitating farmers since morning. The bandh was called from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Talking to IANS, Swaraj India leader Yogendra Yadav said we have earned the support of farmers throughout the country. He added that our agitation is now reaching the far flung areas of India and all are supporting are protest against the new farm laws. Crossing regional barriers this movement has reached every corner of India and farmers have participated in the Bharat Bandh from all states and made it a success, Yadav said.
On being asked about a dialogue with the Centre, Yadav categorically said that a democracy is run by the people and this movement has turned into a peoples movement where all sections have active participation, we are hopeful that the government will listen to us.
Emphasising the Centre's lacklustre attitude, he said that before every such large scale action the agriculture minister said that the government is open to dialogue with the farmers unions but they never call us for talks. The minister should tell us the date and time when they want us to meet, said Yadav, adding that we don't have any invitation for talks from the government.
On the question of political parties' involvement in the protest, he said that we are thankful to those who supported us during the Bharat Bandh. But this protest doesn't belong to any political party and hence no political leader can use the Samyukta Kisan Morcha stage as the representative of the party.
However, despite the farmers' bandh, public transport remained operational in the national capital. DTC buses, Delhi Metro, auto-rickshaws and other modes of public and private transport ran smoothly in the capital city. Barring the four entry points to the city that were blocked by the farmers, all communications remained normal. The call for the bandh was supported by over 100 farmer unions, 15 trade unions, political parties and several state governments.
The farmers exempted emergency services, all essential services, medical emergency and rescue and relief work including personal emergency. The SKM had assured that the bandh will be enforced in a voluntary and peaceful manner. It ended peacefully without much visible impact.