Hundreds of people from farmer, Dalit and labour organisations gathered outside Town Hall in Bengaluru to support the nationwide shutdown called on Tuesday against the Centre's new farm laws. Many farmers joined the protest in Bengaluru carrying their produce in their hands and shouting slogans demanding the rollback of the centre's new farm laws.
Kodihalli Chandrashekar, President of Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha, demanded a roll back of the three farm acts. â€śThis government came to power because of farmers. These three farm acts were brought in not to benefit the farmers but to benefit multinational companies and middle men. The government brought in this legislation not to help farmers but to make it easier for the businessmen. What was the need to bring in such laws without consulting farmers? If these laws are not rolled back, farmers across the country will give the Prime Minister and his party men the right answer in the next election.â€ť he said.
The farmer and trade union groups protesting outside Town Hall were supported by members of Dalit rights group - Dalit Tigers - who arrived at the protest location waving blue flags and beating drums. Street vendors from Jayanagar also joined the protest in Bengaluru. Indian Youth Congress also joined the protesters in support of their demands.
The Bharat bandh however was partial. Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) buses were plying in Bengaluru on Tuesday morning. Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa sought to play down the effects of the shutdown in the city. "No one is supporting the Bharath bandh called by the farmers today. You all have seen how the response is in the state and Bengaluru City. Instead of calling protest unnecessarily, they should know the ground reality," he told reporters on Tuesday.
President of Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha Kodihalli Chandrashekar demands roll back of the three farm acts. â€śThe government is out to turn farmers into labourers. What was the needs to pass such legislationâ€™s without consulting farmers?â€ť He says. #FarmLaws2020 #bharathbandh pic.twitter.com/N9JHoEH2aqâ€” Theja Ram (@thejaram92) December 8, 2020
The protest in Bengaluru is being held alongside protests by thousands of farmers in Delhi against the contentious farm laws. They had called for a countrywide Bandh on December 8. The farmers have mainly arrived in significant numbers from Haryana and Punjab. Plans to block roads in Delhi are already in place, in order to urge the Centre to listen to the farmersâ€™ demands and repeal the controversial laws. Farmers have said that they want to hold a peaceful bandh from 11 am to 3 pm on Tuesday.