The wholesale mandis of vegetables, fruits and foodgrains in the city witnessed less than usual transactions on Tuesday as a section of traders joined the 'Bharat Bandh' call given by farmers protesting against the Centre's new farm laws. The Delhi BJP, however, claimed that the mandis functioned as usual and also posted photographs of the markets on social media.
Adil Khan, chairman, Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) of Azadpur Mandi claimed the biggest wholesale vegetable and fruits market in the country was "almost closed. "Azadpur Mandi is almost closed. Many wholesale trader associations have joined Bharat Bandh. Some trucks loaded with vegetables and fruits arrived at the mandi, but no work was done," he said.
The trading at Najafgarh foodgrain market was also slow during the day, traders said. The BJP leaders, however, maintained that Bharat Bandh had no impact on the mandis, and shared videos of various markets on social media.
Delhi BJP general secretary (organisation) Siddharthan posted videos of Azadpur and Okhla mandis, saying Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's appeal for joining the Bharat Bandh was rejected by the traders. He claimed that 250 trucks of potatoes, tomatoes and other vegetables arrived at Azadpur Mandi.
S P Gupta, chairman, Ghazipur Mandi APMC said although the market was open, but transactions were negligible because of absence of customers. "The mandi was open but many traders had closed their shops in solidarity with the protesting farmers. Trading was negligible as there were no buyers," he said.
Many trader associations joined the Bharat Bandh, while those affiliated to BJP opened shops, Gupta added. A nationwide agitation was called by the farmers Tuesday as they vociferously reiterated their demand of repealing the new farm laws, which they have termed as "kala kanoon" (black laws).