Hundreds Protest Farm Bills in Bengaluru; Normal Life Unaffected
Bengaluru city saw three major protests against the controversial farm bills.
Hundreds of farmers and supporters came on the streets of Bengaluru on Tuesday, 8 December, answering the call for a Bharat Bandh against the controversial agriculture laws.
Three separate protests were reported in Karnataka’s capital – at Vidhan Soudha, Town Hall and Maurya Circle.
Around 9.30 am, Congress party legislators led by former chief minister Siddaramaiah protested outside Karnataka Legislative Assembly, where the winter session is currently underway.
No leaders from the Janata Dal (Secular), which has a large farmer vote bank, turned up for the protests.
JD(S) is said to be joining hands with the BJP in the vote of no confidence against the Congress in the Legislative Council.
Hundreds Gather at Town Hall
At Bengaluru’s Town Hall, a popular protest site, members of the farmer, Dalit and labour organisations gathered around 10 am. One farmer group arrived on bullock cart carrying fruits and vegetables, which led to a minor delay in traffic.
A similar protest was reported in Bengaluru‘s Maurya circle too. Both protests later converged at Freedom Park in the heart of the city.
Kodihalli Chandrashekar, President of Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha said: “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?”
The protest was also joined by the Karnataka Congress President DK Shivakumar. He said the protest across the country was historical as people are standing up against those throwing mud at the farmers feeding the country.
“I have seen this in my Taluk. There, farmers are promised a price of Rs 70-75, but within six months the prices drop to Rs 35 claiming the quality is not good. MSP was the protection against that,” he said.
No One is Supporting Bandh: BS Yediyurappa
Addressing the media of the Assembly session, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said that no one is supporting the Bharat Bandh called by the farmers. “You have seen how the response in the state and Bengaluru city is. Instead of calling protests unnecessarily, they should know the ground reality. State and the Modi governments are pro-farmer. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will never bring a policy which will affect the farmers,” he said.
“Even though they (farmers) know the reality, still for some political reasons they are protesting. We will not support. Even in Karnataka and Bengaluru nobody needs to break their head for this (protests). Normal life should go on without any hassle. If anybody troubles anybody, law will take its own course of action.
Congress is sinking boat, let them wear black band or and protest, who is going to listen to them?” he said.
No Disruption in Normal Life
Despite hundreds of protesters coming on the streets, the Bharat Bandh, however did not affect normal life. Shops remained open in the city and no incidents of forcefully closing establishments were reported.
Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) buses, cab services and metro trains were plying as usual in Bengaluru. However in Ramanagara district, protesters blocked the Bengaluru-Mysuru highway at Ijoor circle. Traffic on both directions were disrupted on the highway during the protest.
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