KOLKATA: The TMC on Tuesday began its three-day-long sit-in demonstration against the new farm laws and demanded that the ‘anti-people’ legislation should be withdrawn immediately.
The farmers and agricultural workers wing of the TMC, led by its state president and TMC MLA Becharam Manna, began its sit-in demonstration in front of the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in central Kolkata this afternoon.
Party activists carrying placards and demanding the withdrawal of the new farm laws shouted slogans against the BJP government at the Centre.
“We support the issues raised by the farmers and will hold protest programmes and sit-in demonstrations. But we are against shutdowns and the bandh culture and will not enforce it in the state,” Manna told reporters.
The ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal has decided to extend “moral support” to the nationwide strike called by farmers on December 8 to protest against the new agriculture laws and will stage sit-ins in various parts of the state for three days, in solidarity with the farmers.
It will culminate with chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s address at the protest programme on December 10.
The ‘Bharat Bandh’, called by agitating farmers’ unions against the Centre’s farm laws, partially affected the state with private vehicles remaining off the roads, while public transport, including buses and taxis, operating fewer than the usual.
Supporters of the Congress and Left parties on Tuesday blocked railway tracks at several places and held sit-ins on roads to enforce the nationwide shutdown, which evoked a mixed response in West Bengal.
Representatives of thousands of agitating farmers are sitting on various borders of the national capital since November 26 demanding repeal of the three agri laws.
The farmers are protesting against the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020.
Enacted in September, the three farm laws have been projected by the government as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove middlemen and allow farmers to sell anywhere in the country.
The protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of Minimum Support Price and do away with the mandis, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.