Bharat Band Live Updates: Farmers Halt March as Talks with Government Get Better

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Bharat Band Live Updates: Farmers Halt March as Talks with Government Get Better

| Updated: February 16, 2024 17:06

On Friday, February 16, various farmers’ unions, including the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), announced a Gramin Bharat Bandh, a countrywide strike, to voice their demands to the Centre. The SKM appealed to all the like-minded farmers’ organisations to join the Bharat Bandh, which is supported by the central trade unions.

The Bharat bandh comes in the backdrop of the ‘Delhi Chalo’ protests by hundreds of farmers, who are marching from Haryana, Punjab and have been blocked at the Haryana borders near Ambala, which is about 200 kilometres away from Delhi. Haryana security forces have been using tear gas on the farmers to disperse them.

The SKM (non-political) has urged all the like-minded farmer organisations to take part in the Bharat bandh, which is a day-long protest from 6am to 4pm.

The farmers will be staging a massive chakka jam on major roads across India from 12 pm to 4 pm. In Punjab, a big portion of state and national highways would be shut for at least the four hours.

The Bharat bandh will affect various sectors and activities, such as:

  • Transportation
  • Agricultural activities
  • Activities related to the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA)
  • Private offices
  • Village shops
  • Rural industrial and service establishments.

The farmers are demanding the following from the Centre:

  • Guaranteed Minimum Support Price (MSP) for all crops through legislation.
  • Strengthen the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).
  • Reinstate the old pension scheme for wider coverage.
  • Ensure pension and social security for all workers (formal & informal).
  • Provide free 300 units of power for both farming and domestic use.
  • Implement comprehensive crop insurance for better risk management.
  • Increase existing pensions to ₹10,000 per month.

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