Bengaluru, March 26 : The Bharat Bandh call given by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), did not create much of an impact in Karnataka on Friday with farmer organisations in the state having divergent views on extending support to the shutdown.
Although pro-Kannada organisations took part in the bandh, the police detained leaders at Town Hall in Bengaluru, where they had planned to gather and take out a protest march.
Besides one or two stray incidents of blocking highways reported from Chitradurga and Koppal districts, the Bandh failed to create much impact till noon, with vehicular movement remaining normal.
Although members of the SKM decided to hold protests across the state, the Karnataka Sugarcane Growers’ Association (KSGA) did not support the bandh.
KSGA president Kurubur Shantkumar told reporters his organisation is not taking part in a bandh called by the farmers unions in the state, but extending full support to the nationwide bandh by holding protests against the policies of the state and the Centre.
Shanthakumar, who had been leading farmers’ protests in the state, said they have not made adequate preparations for Friday’s bandh, or held discussions among various farmer organisations in Karnataka.
One of the farmer leaders told IANS on condition of anonymity that people are already in distress and are fearing another round of lockdown. “The people’s mood is not in favour of a bandh anymore. On the contrary, people are fearing that they might be staring at another round of lockdown soon. Under such circumstances, we (farmers organisations) cannot go overboard with our agenda. We need to be sensible. These are tough times, we cannot take people for granted. Therefore, there was no much hype around it this time,” he said.
The leader added that farmers in Delhi might think on different lines but here people are not ready to lose even a single day’s work. “We have called for bandh four times in as many months, people did stand by us three times. Now it is our time to act sensibly,” he explained.