MVA announces Maharashtra Bandh demanding justice for Lakhimpur Kheri victims 

The MVA alliance said the call for the Oct 11 strike is given by the parties, not the government, to show support for farmers, who died in the Lakhimpur Kheri incident


The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Congress and Shiv Sena, who are part of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance in Maharashtra, have called for a state-wide Bandh on October 11, 2021 to condemn the Lakhimpur Kheri farmer killings.

Irrigation Minister Jayant Patil announced the news while stressing that the decision for the Bandh came from the MVA alliance and not the state government. Nonetheless, their decision was in tandem with the State Cabinet’s October 6 resolution that condemned the brutal deaths of farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri, Uttar Pradesh.

Assuring that emergency services such as hospitals and milk deliveries will not be hindered, Patil said, “The Bandh will be to protest the mowing down of farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri. We see the BJP’s cruelty in trying to repress the farmers’ struggle and protests. So, we feel it is important to condemn this incident. We also learnt that the accused still haven’t been arrested. We are also condemning this callous behaviour of the Uttar Pradesh government.”

Meanwhile, media reports said that Opposition and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis criticised parties for politicising an unfortunate incident. Instead of focusing on the Lakhimpur Kheri incident, he said the alliance should talk about farmer issues in the state.

The Maharashtra Bandh decision comes a day after the farmers’ coalition Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) asked state governments to support farmers by providing basic rights like procurement, price support, disaster compensation and so on.

Moreover, the Maharashtra Bandh also shows the stark contrast between BJP-ruled governments and other states. On October 6, farmers group Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) said that Rajasthan farmers protesting in Hanumangarh district outside the Collectorate office for paddy procurement were lathi-charged by the police. The officers allegedly chased farmers. Some farmers were hospitalised.

Regardless, peasant struggles continue in other states like Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, etc. against killing of farmers.

“It would be in detractors’ own self interest to not ignore the growing strength of the farmers’ movement,” said the SKM in a press release.


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