Even as farmers across the country took to streets on Bharat Bandh (shutdown) on September 25 and the leader of opposition in Bihar Assembly Tejashwi Yadav flayed the recent legislations of what he called anti-farmer Bills, the Election Commission announced dates for the Assembly election in the state.
While the farmers associated to Bharatiya Kisan Union blocked roads at different places in north India, farmers in Punjab and Haryana disrupted rail and road traffic. In Punjab train services have been suspended on various routes till September 26. However, all eyes are fixed on Bihar as the opposition is trying its level best to capitalise on the general resentment following large scale unemployment due to lockdown.
Though APMC was abolished in Bihar way back in 2006 and the number of big farmers selling their produce is very small yet the opposition leaders are leaving no stoned unturned to emerge as their champions. Tejashwi took to the wheels–he drove a tractor in Patna– and blamed the Nitish Kumar government as well as the Centre for the pathetic condition of farmers of Bihar in particular. He said while the country was repeatedly assured that the income of the farmers would be doubled by 2022 the reality is that their condition has worsened, especially since 2006.
He directly asked Nitish Kumar “whether he had ever read the three anti-farmers Bills passed by Parliament?” He said that Nitish Kumar would pose as an all-knowing person but the fact is that he is the most ignorant one. The leader of opposition, who led a large number of supporters, also raised the question as to why Minimum Support Price is in force in Bihar.
Even as the opposition in Bihar was busy mobilising the people against both the Centre and state government the Chief Election Commissioner of India, Sunil Arora, on Friday announced a three-phase election–Oct 28, Nov 3 and 7. The counting would take place on Nov 10 and final results are expected by late in the day. As the election would be held amidst Corona Virus, some guidelines have been issued in this regard. The term of the present Assembly expires on Nov 29.