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Roadshows for big bandh – Auto, truck unions to join Opp stir against land bill

JVM-led anti-BJP forces have lined up a series of street shows across Jharkhand tomorrow to garner support for their proposed statewide bandh on May 4 against the Centre’s land acquisition bill.

Also, JVM chief Babulal Marandi will hold a meeting tomorrow with senior leaders of like-minded parties like RJD, JDU, Samajwadi Party, JJM, CPI and CPI-ML to work out a detailed plan to ensure success of the bandh.

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Though the Congress has extended moral support to the anti-land bill campaign, it is unlikely to attend tomorrow’s meeting or actively participate in the bandh. The JMM, despite its opposition to the land bill, is not joining the JVM-led agitation.

“We are determined to make it a historic bandh. Jharkhand will be the first state in the country to oppose Centre’s land grabbing ordinance in an unprecedented way. Truck and bus owners associations have extended their support,” JVM legislator Pradeep Yadav said.

With so many parties coming together and several rights groups extending support, the bandh is expected to be a huge success, he claimed.

Autorickshaw associations – Chotanagpur Taxi and Temp Chalak Sangh and Jharkhand Pradesh Diesel Auto Chalak Mahasangh – have extended support to the bandh, too. Transporters are also supporting the bandh. “We are extending active support. You will see us on the road on bandh day, protesting against the ordinance,” said Udayshankar Ojha, state president of Jharkhand Truck Owners’ Association.

Jharkhand Bus Owners’ Association has not yet decided whether to keep buses off roads. “But if the bandh turns out to be massive, we will stop services,” Kishore Mantri, general secretary of the association, said.

The JMM, on the hand, is planning to call on President Pranab Mukherjee to voice its protest against the ordinance.

“We are aware of the JVM-called bandh but we have noting do in it,” JMM spokesperson Vinod Pandey said.

State Congress president Sukhdeo Bhagat said they were extending moral support to the bandh. “For Congress, which is a national party, joining an agitation under the leadership of a regional party is a different thing. We are organising campaigns against the bill across the country,” Bhagat said.

The state police have issued directives to all districts to ensure sufficient deployment of forces to avert any untoward incident on bandh day.

Ranchi SSP Prabhat Kumar and senior district police officers held a meeting in the capital today to discuss security arrangements.


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