New Delhi: The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) and All India Transport Welfare Association (AITWA) on Monday said that their members will not participate in the December 8 'Bharat Bandh', adding that the government should though look into the farmers' demands and resolve the issues at the earliest.
Both associations said in a joint statement here that their members in commercial markets across the country will open their premises and conduct business as usual and run normal transport services on December 8.
CAIT National President BC Bhartia, Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal and AITW Chairman Pradeep Singhal and National President Mahendra Arya said in the joint statement: "So far, neither any farmer organisation nor any farmer leader has approached us to seek out support to the Bharat Bandh."
"The leaders said that at a time when several rounds of talks have been held between the government and the farmer leaders, it is not appropriate to organise any bandh. We are of the confirmed opinion that the talks between the government and the farmer leaders will bear fruitful results."
"We have all sympathy for their demands and call upon the government to resolve the issues at the earliest by looking into the genuine demands of the farming community."
The farmers, like traders and transporters, are an important part of the national economy and therefore immediate steps are needed to resolve their issues, said the leaders.
They said that it was the need of the hour that farming should be made profitable and therefore all support mechanisms and opportunities provided to the farmers. Whatever amicable decisions are arrived at should be implemented in a time-bound manner, the four leaders added.
Both CAIT and AITWA also appealed to the farmers to be aware of vested interests who could infiltrate their agitation to spoil the image of farmers.
They also appealed that if farmer leaders think fit, they can call back their bandh call and keep on holding talks with the government to resolve the issues. "In this process, wherever the assistance of traders and transporters is required, we are prepared to extend cooperation," said the leaders.
Talking to IANS, Khandelwal said there was no need to call the bandh when talks between the government and farmers was on. "We agree that farmers should earn profits because they do hard work. We also request the central government to fulfil their demands as soon as possible. But I reiterate my point that there is no way to hold a 'Bharat Bandh' when talks are still on."
Khandelwal said that over 40,000 trader associations, who represent over seven crore traders across India, are functioning under the CAIT umbrella.
(With IANS Inputs)