Thiruvananthapuram, Bharat Bandh called by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) against the three farms laws, and a state-wide hartal called by Left Democratic Front (LDF) in solidarity with the farmers’ agitation, began in Kerala on Monday.
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha called for the nation-wide Bharat Bandh to mark the first anniversary of the Centre’s three controversial farm laws and President Ram Nath Kovind giving his assent to the bills.
In the state, ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) and Opposition Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) have extended their support to the agitation. The LDF called for a state-wide hartal in support of the Bandh.
In view of the strike, Kerala University postponed all the examinations scheduled to held on Monday. All emergency and essential services including Ambulance services were exempted from the hartal which began from 0600 hrs and end at 1800 hrs.
In view of the bandh, the State-owned KSRTC buses cancelled many of its services and it affected the normal life in Kerala where streets wore a deserted look.
Meanwhile, the hartal called by the ruling LDF courted a controversy as it is being observed on the World Tourism Day in Kerala.
Alleging that the hartal will be a big blow to the tourism sector, stakeholders in the travel and tourism industry, it will also damage the state’s reputation as a travel destination.
The State witnessed 246 hartals since 2017, according to data available, with ‘Say No to Hartal,’ an organisation, fighting against the hartal in the State.
Earlier, the Kerala High Court rejected a PIL seeking to declare the September 27 hartal as illegal.
Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly dismissed the PIL after the Kerala Government stated that no untoward incidents will occur due to the hartal.
The Government also assured protection to those who wish to work today.