KOLKATA: Cracks have emerged within the Opposition ranks as the Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Monday said it would not support the proposed Bharat Bandh on 8 December and asked its workers to stay away from it.
Party MP Saugata Roy on Monday said, “TMC stands in solidarity with the farmers, but will not support the Bharat Bandh in West Bengal as it goes against our principles.”
Earlier, TMC chief Mamata Banerjee had tweeted, “I am very much concerned about the farmers, their lives and livelihood. GoI must withdraw the anti-farmer bills. If they do not do so immediately we will agitate throughout the state and the country. From the very start, we have been strongly opposing these anti-farmer bills.”
Bharat Bandh has been supported by the Congress, SP, NCP, DMK, RJD, PAGD, and a host of Left parties. A joint statement was issued by leaders of these parties on Sunday: “We, the undersigned leaders of political parties, extend our solidarity with the ongoing massive struggle by the Indian farmers organised by various kisan organisations from across the country and extend our support to their call for a Bharat bandh on December 8 demanding the withdrawal of these retrograde Agri-laws and the Electricity Amendment Bill.”
The BSP, the Shiv Sena and the TRS have also supported the bandh.
Farmers from Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh are protesting along the borders of the national capital against the three new agricultural laws by the Central government. Despite the Bharat Bandh call on 8 December, farmers’ representatives have agreed to participate in the dialogue with the centre on 9 December.