Lakhimpur violence: Ruling MVA urges people to extend full support to Maharashtra bandh on Monday

Kisan Sabha, several trade organisations in Pune express support for the bandh. Congress workers & leaders will observe "maun vrat" (vow of silence) outside Raj Bhawan in Mumbai to register protest

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PTI

The three partners in the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra have appealed to the people to wholeheartedly support Monday's state-wide bandh called by them to protest the killing of four farmers in Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur Kheri.

The shutdown has been called by the ruling allies - Shiv Sena, NCP, and Congress.

"The state-wide bandh will commence from 12 midnight," NCP spokesman and state minister Nawab Malik said on Sunday.

The workers of Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress are meeting citizens with an appeal to participate in the bandh wholeheartedly and express their solidarity with farmers, he said.

"The BJP-led central government has allowed the loot of agriculture produce through the three newly-enacted farm laws and now the kin of its minister is killing farmers. We have to show solidarity with the cultivators," he said.

The MVA demands that Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Misha be sacked, the NCP leader added.

"It was only after the Supreme Court's intervention that the minister's son was arrested," he said.

The Union minister's son Ashish Mishra was arrested on Saturday night by the police in Lakhimpur Kheri in connection with the October 3 violence there. He was named in an FIR following allegations that he was in one of the vehicles that mowed down four farmers protesting over UP Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya's visit last Sunday.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole said the workers and leaders of his party would observe "maun vrat" (vow of silence) outside the Raj Bhavan in Mumbai to register their protest.

"We appeal to all Congress workers and people to participate in the bandh and ensure its success," he said.

Shiv Sena's Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut had on Saturday said his party would participate in the bandh with full force. He had also said that it was necessary to wake people up against the "anti-farmer" policies of the central government.

The three ruling allies have made it clear that the bandh was not state government-sponsored, but called by the parties.

The Kisan Sabha has extended support to the bandh and said its workers in 21 districts of the state are coordinating with the like-minded organisations to ensure that the bandh gets good response.

Several trade organisations in Pune have expressed support for Monday's Maharashtra bandh called by the ruling MVA constituents and other outfits to protest against the October 3 killing of farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh.

The Federation of Trade Association of Pune (FTAP) president Fattechand Ranka said all shops, except those dealing in essential items, will remain closed till 3 pm on Monday.

Over 2,000 traders dealing in fruits, vegetables, flowers, grains, onions and potatoes etc will support the bandh to show solidarity with farmers who play an all-important role in their sector, said Rohan Ursal, secretary of the Shree Chhatrapati Shivaji Market Yard Adate (Traders) Association.

Transport is also likely to be hit in Maharashtra's second largest city as rickshaw unions have decided to not ply their vehicles during the duration of the shutdown on Monday.

"Our organisation and several other transport groups will be supporting the bandh," said Rickshaw Panchayat functionary Nitin Pawar.

However, commuting respite for the public is expected from the civic-run Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Ltd, which has decided to run extra buses on Monday.

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