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The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), a front of protesting farmer unions has appealed to the citizens of the country to make the 26 March Bharat Bandh a complete success.

Farmers have been protesting at Delhi's borders against the Centre's three new farm laws for nearly four months now.

According to a report in news agency PTI, the SKM has called for a Bharat Bandh on March 26, from 6 am to 6 pm. During this time all road and rail transport, markets and other public places will be closed across the country.

"We appeal to the people of the country to make this Bharat Bandh a success and honour their 'Annadata'," farmer leader Darshan Pal said.

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Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at the Delhi border points --- Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur --- for over four months, demanding the repeal of farm laws and a legal guarantee on the minimum support price (MSP) for their crops.

Earlier, Farmer leader Buta Singh Burjgill had said: "We will observe a complete Bharat bandh on March 26, when our protest against the three farm laws completes four months. The peaceful bandh will remain effective from morning till evening."

Farmers leaders also said that copies of the new farm laws will be burnt during ‘Holika Dahan’ on March 28.

YSRCP extends support to Bharat Bandh on March 26

The ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) in Andhra Pradesh has expressed solidarity to the Bharat Bandh on March 26 which is being observed to protest against the Centre's decision to privatise Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) and in support of the farmers' unions opposing the farm laws.

Andhra Pradesh I&PR Minister Perni Venkatramaiah said that the State government is against the privatisation of steel plant and in regard to this, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy had written letters to the Centre suggesting alternatives to retain the organisation.

The Minister appealed to the farmers' associations to cooperate and observe the bandh peacefully without any untoward incidents that cause inconvenience to the general public.

In regard to this, all the government institutions in the state will be open after 1.00 pm and RTC buses will operate in the afternoon. During the bandh, all the emergency health services will run as usual.

Individual shops to decide on closing or opening in Ghaziabad

Participation in the countrywide 'Bharat Bandh' call given by the farmers' unions on March 26 against the three farm laws would be optional for the traders. General Secretary of Mahanagar Vyapar Mandal Ashok Chawla told PTI that the association would remain neutral during the 'Bharat Bandh'. No association would force anybody to close their shops or compel them to keep it open as traders are free to take decisions on their own, Chawla added.

In the meeting, all the problems regarding COVID-19, 'Bharat Bandh' and deposition of arms licenses during panchayat elections were discussed, he further said.

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