Shiv Sena backs 'Bharat Bandh' called by protesting farmers on Dec 8
Shiv Sena backs 'Bharat Bandh' called by protesting farmers on Dec 8
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Mumbai: The ruling Shiv Sena in Maharashtra on Sunday extended its support to the 'Bharat Bandh' called on December 8 by farmer unions which have been protesting on Delhi's borders for 11 days demanding repeal of the Centre's new agri-marketing laws.

"Shiv Sena president and CM Uddhav Thackeray is against the Central laws which are anti-farmer and anti-labour. We support the Bharat bandh," Rajya Sabha MP Anil Desai told PTI on Sunday night.

Earlier in the day, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Prem Singh Chandumajra met CM Thackeray in Mumbai. He told reporters that Thackeray supported the Akali Dal's stand on the farmers' protest.

Chandumajra said Thackeray agreed with his party on the issue of the Centre's alleged interference into the "rights of state governments" in fields like education, agriculture and law and order.

Alleging that revenues of states were being diluted, Chandumajra said there was a need for regional parties to unite against "attempts to centralise" the country's politics.

The Shiv Sena had snapped ties with the BJP after the Maharashtra Assembly polls last year over the issue of sharing the chief ministerial post.

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) quit the BJP-led NDA in September this year to protest against the Centre's new agri-marketing laws.

Thousands of farmers are sitting on various borders of New Delhi since November 26 against the laws and have called for a 'Bharat Bandh' on December 8.

"If states are strong, the nation will be stronger.

If states are weak, the country will be weaker. Today, the country's political system is being centralised. The Shiromani Akali Dal is for federalism," Chandumajra said.

"Even Uddhav Thackeray is of the view that rights of states need to be protected," he said.

Regional parties need to be united, the SAD leader said.

"Thackeray agrees with the Akali Dal on the issue of Central government's interference in state governments' rights in education, agriculture and law and order," he said, while alleging that "revenues of states are being diluted".

Chandumajra met Thackeray at 'Varsha', the official residence of Maharashtra's chief minister here.

He said Thackeray supported the Akali Dal's stand on the ongoing farmers' protest.

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