In an unprecedented move, the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi partners Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress have called for a statewide bandh on October 11 to protest against the Lakhimpur Sheri violence in which four agitating farmers died. The issue was discussed at the state cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in which ministers of three parties strongly condemned the incident and criticized the BJP led government in Uttar Pradesh for its oppression by misuse of power. Today’s announcement came a day after Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut pitched for a joint opposition action against BJP.
After the cabinet meeting ended, NCP Minister Jayant Patil, Congress Minister Balasaheb Thorat and Shiv Sena Minister Eknath Shinde together at the media interaction formally announced bandh on October 11 to protest against the Lakhimpur Sheri violence. They however, clarified that essential services are not included in the bandh. Three ministers also said the bandh call was given by three parties and not by the government. The ministers added that workers of three parties have been called upon to participate in the bandh.
This is MVA partners’ attempt to unitedly take on BJP and send a message across the country that they strongly support the farmers and will voice against BJP’s move to crush them by using government machinery.
Patil slammed BJP for being harsh on farmers. ‘’The bandh is being called to express support to the agitating farmers and condemn the Lakhimpur Sheri violence,’’ he said.
Shinde claimed that Lakhimpur Sheri incident was blot to mankind saying that the anger is growing against the BJP led government in UP and also at the Centre for their apathy towards farmers who are reeling from unprecedented crisis. ‘’The bandh is to reiterate Shiv Sena’s support to the farmers,’’ he noted.
Thorat said the move to crush farmers’ peaceful agitation reminded of brigadier general Dyer who was responsible for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre that took place in 1919 in Amritsar. ‘’The decision was taken by Maha Vikas Aghadi to call a bandh on October 11. BJP’s attempt to disrupt the agitation was quite unfortunate,’’ he noted.
Earlier, the state cabinet passed a resolution expressing grief over the Lakhimpur Sheri incident.
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