KOZHIKODE: FED up with the frequent disruptions in their businesses, traders from state have decided not to cooperate with hartals announced by political parties or organisation.The decision was taken at a meeting of the Kerala Vyapara Vyavasai Ekopana Samithi (KVVES) held at Vyapara Bhavan in Kozhikode.The meeting was also attended by members of various other associations representing bus operators, hospital managements and others. In all 36 organisations took part in the meeting.
Addressing the media after the meeting, Samithi members said all shops will henceforth function on all hartal days. “Buses will run, lorries will bring in goods and all shops will function as a normal day,” said KVVES president T Nasarudheen. He said 2019 will be celebrated as the hartal-free year. In 2018, 96 hartals were held in the state and traders have incurred huge loss due to frequent shutdowns. Nasarudheen said traders incur a loss of over `2,000 crore on a hartal day.
The meeting also decided to form a state delegation which would visit political party leaders to explain the traders’ stance. The Associations will hold a convention in each district in the coming days to discuss the issue further. The district office bearers will invite the district-level political leaders to attend the convention.He said the committee will meet and discuss the stance to be taken if a political party announces its hartal in advance. But traders will never cooperate with any hartals announced without any prior notice, he added.
However, Nasarudheen said they will call another meeting before January 5 to decide whether to cooperate with the nation-wide bandh to be held in January. But he said the traders will not cooperate regional-level hartals.Samithi office-bearers said the government asking KSRTC not to ply on hartal days gives a morale boost to political parties.
Nasarudheen said KVVES will also provide legal aid for traders who are attacked on hartal days. “According to the SC, it’s the police’s duty to protect the public and property on hartal days. We will fight legally if any untoward incidents happen,” he said.