HYDERABAD – Movement of vehicles on national and state highways in Telangana came to a standstill on Tuesday as ruling TRS Ministers, lawmakers and leaders of opposition parties held protests on roads during the ‘Bharat Bandh’ called by farmers.
Apart from TRS Ministers and MPs, the party’s legislators and other public representatives led the protests on highways, leading to huge traffic jams.
Leaders of the Congress, Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India-Marxist, other Left parties, farmers’ groups, trade unions, people’s organisations, employees, techies, transporters, lawyers and others also participated in the protests.
‘Rasta roko’, dharnas, rallies and public meetings marked the shutdown, which evoked good response as shops and business establishments remaining closed and buses of state-owned Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) and most cabs and auto-rickshaws were off the roads.
Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) working President and Industry Minister KT Rama Rao led the protesters near Shadnagar on the Hyderabad-Bengaluru National Highway.
Accompanied by TRS General Secretary K Keshav Rao, other party leaders and workers, Rama Rao sat on the highway. He held a placard with slogans ‘stand with farmers’ and ‘farmers not terrorists’.
Dubbing the new central farm legislations as ‘black laws’, Rama Rao called for raising a unified voice against what he called a “conspiracy to hand over farm sector to the corporate entities and make farmers labourers puppets at the hands of the big corporate players”.
TRS leader and Legislative Council member K Kavitha led the road blockade on the Hyderabad-Nagpur highway near Kamareddy. She along with other protestors released black balloons in the air to register their protest against the farm legislations.
“KCR with farmers — Withdraw farm Bills’ was written on the placard held by Kavitha. A large number of TRS workers joined her in the protest.
Transport Minister P Ajay Kumar, MP Nama Nageswara Rao, and State Farmers’ Coordination Committee coordinator Palla Rajeswar Reddy participated in the protest at Khammam. The town also witnessed protests by the Left parties.
At Kodad in Suryapet district, farmers parked their tractors on the Hyderabad-Vijayawada highway, leading to nearly two-km-long traffic jam.
Leader of Congress in Telangana Assembly Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka led the protest at Shameerpet on the outskirts of Hyderabad. A large number of Congress leaders and workers joined him and raised slogans against the central government to demand withdrawal of the said laws.
The CPI, CPI-M and Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS) supporters organised a protest march in Hyerabad from Koti to RTC Cross Roads. CPI State Secretary Chada Venkat Reddy, CPI-M leader T Veerabhadram and TJS leader M Kodandaram led the rally.
The Telangana lawyers staged a protest at Gun Park near the Assembly to show their solidarity with protesting farmers.
Techies too joined the protest, with IT firms’ employees holding a sit-in near Raidurg metro station. They held placards to demand withdrawal of the farm laws. Y Kiran Chandra, president of IT Professionals, led the protest.
During the protest by TRS leaders at Kukatpally, some citizens caught in the traffic jam vented their anger at the protesters. One of them was manhandled allegedly by followers of MLA Arkepudi Gandhi.
Meanwhile, Hyderabad Metro rail services were operational on all three routes. Police detained TRS workers who tried to stop trains at Kukatpally.
Delhi Cong protests in Bharat Bandh support, disrupts traffic
Hundreds of Delhi Congress activists on Tuesday staged a protest and stopped traffic near the Income Tax Office (ITO) chowk in the national capital in support of the ‘Bharat Bandh’ called by the farmers against three farm laws.
The workers under the leadership of party unit chief Chaudhary Anil Kumar stopped the traffic on the Vikas Marg.
The Congress workers with placards and banners in their hands also raised slogans against the Central government demanding the repealing of the three farm laws.
They put the banners on the ITO flyover that read ‘in support of farmers call of Bharat Bandh’.
The Congress workers also sat on the road disrupting the traffic on the Vikas Marg which connects east Delhi with central Delhi.
Farmers from Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh have called the Bharat Bandh demanding the repealing of the three Farm Laws. The farmer leaders fifth round of meeting with the government representatives on Saturday remained inconclusive.
Another round of talks with farmers is scheduled on Wednesday afternoon.
Traffic movement hampered as farmers block NH-24 at Ghazipur
Vehicular traffic was hampered on Tuesday morning as hundreds of farmers from Uttarakhand and western Uttar Pradesh held a sit-in at Ghazipur entry point on the National Highway-24 that connects Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, as part of their ‘Bharat Bandh’ call.
The protestors, however, were allowing the smooth passage for ambulances at Ghazipur, where they have been protesting for many days now. The farmers had earlier announced a total ‘chakka jam’ from 11 am to 3 pm.
Police and paramilitary forces were stationed on the Delhi side of the interstate border to maintain law and order. However, farmers were protesting peacefully.
Another group of protestors also blocked National Highway-9. -IANS