BHUBANESWAR: The farmers' unions call for 'Bharat Bandh' on Tuesday in protest against the three new farm laws crippled normal life in Odisha with commercial establishments keeping their shutters downed and buses staying off roads.
Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee, several other opposition parties and various trade unions have extended their support to Bharat Bandh in the State.
The protestors blocked the highway and other roads at major junctions in the Capital city. State Government offices were closed as Odisha Government had announced the closure of offices anticipating disruption in transportation.
Hundreds of vehicles were stranded near Satsang Vihar as Congress workers and Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Mahasangha workers blocked both sides of the highway leading to traffic snarls.
"State Congress has extended its support to Bharat Bandh call given by the farmers' unions. Centre is ignoring the farmers and paving ways for 'black laws' in the country," said OPCC Secretary Manoj Biswal.
Congress leaders have threatened to intensify the protests if the recently enacted farm laws are not repealed.
Farm loans are not being waived off and farmers are even not able to avail the minimum support price for their produce. We will continue to protest till the new laws are repealed, said Biswal.
Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Mahasangha's member Abhijit Das said the association's State president Sachin Mohapatra is camping in Delhi with about 50 farmers to protest against the new farm laws.
"We have given a call for Bharat Bandh and it has been successful in all the districts of Odisha. If the Centre continues to ignore the sharecroppers who constitute 70 per cent of the farmers' in the country then it will have serious ramifications on the general public," he added.
In Station Square, various political parties like Congress, CPI(M) and other associations blocked the roads and slammed the Union Government for allegedly passing anti-farm laws.
"The three news laws were passed by the Centre in an undemocratic manner. They will benefit corporate giants and not the farmers," said CPI(M) State secretary Ali Kishore Patnaik.
The Odisha unit of Aam Aadmi Party also protested against farm laws 2020 and its members blocked roads at CRPF Square here.
"The farm laws are anti-farmers and pro-capitalist. They will promote hoarding of essential goods and items. The Union Government must accept the demands of the farmers and ensure MSP for all the agricultural produce," said AAP's State convenor, Nishikanta Mohapatra.
About 15 platoons of police force have been deployed in the city to avoid any untoward incident.