Farmers are protesting, causing a Bharat Bandh. Lots of buses in Punjab aren’t running, leaving commuters stuck.

Nationwide Strike Called by Farmers: Gramin Bharat Bandh

What’s Happening:

  • Farmers’ unions, led by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), have declared a nationwide strike on February 16.
  • They’re pressing the government to address their long-standing demands.
  • Expect disruptions in transportation, farming, and rural jobs.

Key Points:

  • Village markets will close, and farmers will block main roads from 12pm to 4pm.
  • Farming and MNREGA work will pause for the day, affecting crop transactions.
  • While government offices, banks, and schools will remain open, transportation may be tricky.
  • Urban areas might face shortages in milk and veggies due to transport disruptions.
  • State buses’ availability hinges on local union participation in the strike.
  • Nationwide Strike Alert: Farmers’ Gramin Bharat Bandh Impact
  • What’s Happening:
  • Farmers’ Gramin Bharat Bandh is causing disruptions across sectors today.
  • What’s Open:
  • Government offices, banks, and schools are expected to operate as usual.
  • What’s Shut:
  • Village markets will be closed.
  • Main roads will face blockages from 12pm to 4pm due to farmer protests.
  • Farming and MNREGA work will be halted, affecting crop transactions.
  • What to Expect:
  • Transportation difficulties may arise.
  • Urban areas could experience milk and vegetable shortages.
  • State bus services may be limited, depending on local union participation.

Farmers’ unions called for a nationwide strike named “Gramin Bharat Bandh” today to address their demands. The strike is anticipated to cause disruptions in transportation, agricultural operations, and various sectors. However, emergency services and the core demands of the farmers will continue unaffected. The Gramin Bharat Bandh is scheduled from 6 am to 4 pm today, with farmers planning extensive road blockades from 12 pm to 4 pm. Routes in Punjab are expected to experience disruptions for four hours, potentially leading to traffic diversions and delays.

Today, farmers’ unions, including the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), have announced a nationwide strike called Gramin Bharat Bandh, urging the Centre to address their longstanding demands. This strike is anticipated to affect various sectors, potentially disrupting transportation, agricultural activities, and rural employment schemes, among others.

Bandh timing and duration :

The Gramin Bharat Bandh is set to take place from 6 am to 4 pm today, with farmers intending to conduct extensive road blockades on main roads from 12 pm to 4 pm. Routes in Punjab are expected to be impacted for four hours, leading to possible traffic diversions and delays. Delhi NCR borders, especially Singhu (Delhi-Haryana), Ghazipur, and Tikri (Delhi-Haryana), are likely to face substantial traffic disturbances, making it difficult for commuters to enter the national capital.

What will remain closed?

The Bandh, scheduled from 6 am to 4 pm, will witness farmers participating in massive road blockades from 12 pm to 4 pm, as per Business Standard reports.

During this time, most state and national highways in Punjab will be shut down for four hours.

Dr. Darshan Pal, SKM member of National Coordination Committee (NCC), mentioned to Indian Express, “The Gramin Bharat Bandh call had been planned in December. On this day, villages will remain closed for all agricultural activities and MNREGA and rural works. No farmer, agricultural worker or rural worker will work that day.”

Additionally, sales of vegetables and other crops will continue to be halted. Village shops, grain and vegetable markets, government and non-government offices, rural industrial and service sector businesses, and private-sector companies are expected to remain closed.

Pal further stated that establishments in towns neighboring the villages are likely to remain closed during the strike hours.

Jagmohan Singh Patiala, NCC member, SKM, informed the newspaper that public transport will be suspended, as the roadways employees unions are also participating in the protest.

According to, train services may also experience disruptions.

What will be open?

Pal stated that emergency services such as ambulances, funeral arrangements, medical stores, newspaper distribution, students commuting for board exams, and airport travelers will not be affected during the Bharat Bandh today.

According to The Times of India, banks will remain open and operate normally. It’s worth noting that the Reserve Bank of India’s holiday matrix also confirms that banks will maintain their regular hours.

Demands of the SKM

The Gramin Bharat Bandh, organized by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), comprises over 500 farmer unions, united against the farm laws introduced in 2021. Although not involved in the current “Delhi Chalo” march, the SKM (non-political) is a branch of the SKM, formed in July 2022 due to internal disagreements. Most unions under the Krishak Mukti Manch (KMM) are also affiliated with the SKM.

The demands put forth by the SKM align with those of other farmer union groups participating in the “Delhi Chalo” movement. In addition to seeking minimum support price (MSP) for crops and farmer pensions, their concerns encompass the implementation of One Rank One Pension (OROP), withdrawal of labor law amendments, and various other requests.

Their demands include the elimination of fixed-term employment, revocation of four labor laws, ensuring employment as a fundamental right, halting the privatization of public sector enterprises, and prohibiting labor subcontracting. They advocate for a minimum wage of Rs 26,000 per month for workers and strengthening the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) to include 200 workdays per year with a daily wage of Rs 600.

Additionally, they call for the reinstatement of the previous pension scheme and the extension of social security benefits to all individuals in both the formal and informal sectors.

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