Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), a body representing over 40 farmer unions had appealed to all farmers to join the strike peacefully and make it a success.
The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) had announced a strike or “Bharat Bandh” across India and said that all commercial markets across India will remain closed on February 26. The strike was against the rising fuel prices, the new E-Way Bill, and the Goods and Services Tax (GST). The strike demanded a review of the GST regime, which a section of traders are calling “complicated”, “regressive” and “draconian”
CAIT is an umbrella body that represents small businesses in India. Around 40,000 trade organizations extended their support for the bandh. CIAT said: “We highly regret such a dismal attitude and picture of the GST which has compelled the trade union leaders attending the conference to call for a Bharat Trade Bandh.”
The All India Transporters Welfare Association (AITWA), an apex body representing 10 million road transporters in India, also was a part of the strike. Many trucks took part by staying off the roads. The AITWA is currently demanding the E-Way Bill be replaced with e-invoice and a reduction in fuel prices.
Farmers protesting against the Indian government’s three new farm laws were also urged to join the strike. Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) had appealed to all farmers to join the strike peacefully. According to media reports, farm leader Dr Darshan Pal said farmer unions support the traders facing hardships due to GST and rising fuel prices.
The bandh saw the maximum response in Punjab and Haryana, where markets stayed shut and roads were blocked.