Bharat Bandh: Life hit at many places, trains stopped, PM's effigy burnt

Bapun Raz

Staff member
Community Manager
3 Nov 2010
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The day-long nationwide bandh called by the Left parties and NDA on Thursday, demanding a rollback of the government's decision to hike diesel prices, cap subsidised cooking gas cylinders and allow foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail has hit life at many places in the country.
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Samajwadi Party workers blocked rail traffic at Allahabad railway station in the morning. BJP Yuva Morcha activists stopped trains at Patna junction.
Workers of SP, CPM, CPI, TDP, BJD, JD (S), All India Forward Bloc and the RSP have plans to organise picketing, demonstrations and court arrest.

A scuffle broke out between the TMC workers and BJP workers in Howrah when BJP workers were taking out a rally in support of the bandh and TMC workers were opposing it.

The bandh did not have much effect in the morning in Delhi as Autos and buses could be seen plying on the road and Delhi metro was also running smoothly. However, some schools in the capital were closed due to the bandh according to the reports.

According to media reports, protesters burned effigy of the prime minister at some places in UP.

In Bangalore, government and private schools were shut.

However, many political parties have stayed away from the bandh.

Trinamool Congress which reduced ruling UPA-II to minority by announcing to pull out its 19 MPs from the coalition, has opposed the bandh stating that a bandh served no purpose.

She said that taking advantage of the diesel price hike, the prices of some commodities were sought to be increased and a bandh would further aggravate the situation.

"We will not allow bandh forcibly," she said.

She said that offices in West Bengal would remain open on Thursday and state-run buses and trams would be on the roads.

Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) which has 21 members of Parliament in Lok Sabha, too said it will not participate in the nation-wide strike called by opposition parties on Thursday.

Samajwadi Party has expressed displeasure on government's decision on FDI and diesel price. It announced stir against government's decisions on diesel, LPG and FDI. The party has 22 MPs in Lok Sabha.

Congress ally DMK, however, has decided to support the bandh. DMK president M Karunanidhi asked party workers and front organisations to participate in the strike and make it a success.

Gorkha Jana Mukti Morcha (GJMM) too has decided not to participate in the countrywide strike.

With the Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena staying away from the bandh, the BJP is banking upon support from JD(U) and traders' bodies of the nation. Various associations of traders and retailers have backed the bandh.

Traders' body CAIT said its members in different states will observe bandh in protest against the government's decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retail sector.

"All traders and retailers across Mumbai and Thane will down their shutters. We are not supporting any political party but fighting a battle for our own survival," said Viren Shah, president of the Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Associations.

Several leaders of different political parties, which are also observing the nation-wide bandh, will address a rally of retail traders at Jantar Mantar, Secretary General of the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) Praveen Khandelwal said.

About 25,000 trade associations representing five crore traders, hawkers, labourers and farmers will participate in the bandh, Khandelwal claimed.

To discourage government employees from participating in bandh, the government in Assam would enforce pay cut, break in service and disciplinary action against employees who do not report for work during 'Bharat Bandh'on Thursday.

Parties supporting Sept 20 Bharat bandh
BJP, JD(U), CPI(M)-led Left Front, Samajwadi Party, DMK, Traders' body CAIT

Parties not participating in Sept 20 Bharat bandh
Trinamool Congress, BSP, Gorkha Jana Mukti Morcha (GJMM), MNS, Shiv Sena

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