The Bharat Bandh by NDA and other political parties with support from several trade bodies against the central government's decision to hike diesel price and allow FDI in multi-brand retail has evoked mixed response in Assam and across the nation on Thursday.
Besides the NDA, the Bharat Bandh is being supported by Left, Samajwadi Party, DMK and others. Many traders association and motor unions are also supporting the move in many states. Close to 75 lakh trucks are off roads across the country.
In the national capital, Delhi, the BJP has planned to block roads at 100 spots across the city. As of now, Metro services are running on time. However, autos are off roads today.
As a precautionary measure, most schools in the NCR regions are closed today.
In Uttar Pradesh, BJP and SP workers are targeting trains with many trains stopped in Mathura, Varanasi, Lucknow and Allahabad. The bandh is expected to be near total as the ruling SP is supporting it.
INLD workers have blocked rail tracks at Faridabad in Haryana.
BJP workers were also on the streets in Jammu, Shimla, Ludhiana and other cities in the region.
With the Left parties supporting it, the Bharat Bandh is near total in West Bengal despite the TMC being against it.
Not many vehicles are plying on the roads in Kolkata and other cities; however, as the state government has asked government employees to be present in offices today, it remains to be seen how the situation pans out as the day progresses.
It is ironical given the fact that TMC has pulled out of the UPA government over the issue but is now making all efforts to ensure that the Left sponsored bandh doesn’t turn out as successful.
A scuffle was also reported between BJP and TMC workers in the city.
In Bihar, BJP and JD(U) workers blocked trains at Rajendra Nagar terminus since early morning. The bandh is expected to be in full force in the state within a couple of hours.
Protestors are expected to converge at the Dak Bungalow circle later in the day.
Odisha’s capital Bhubnaeswar is also in the grip of the band with workers of various political parties taking to the streets to protests against the furl price hike.
Bharat Bandh is evoking tepid response in India’s financial capital, Mumbai. The Shiv Sena and MNS are not supporting bandh in view of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival. Most buses are plying and city’s lifeline, local trains are also running on schedule.
However, retailers in the city are supporting the city and many have downed their shutters in support of the lockout.
Bandh is also being observed in other cities of the state like Nagpur, Pune, Aurangabad and Nashik.
In Gujarat, vehicles were off roads in Ahmedabad and other cities. Schools and colleges are also closed in most cities of the state.
The situation is no better in Chhattisgarh with BJP workers taking to the streets in cities like Raipur and Durg-Bhilai.
Bharat Bandh has evoked strong response in Karnataka with a near complete shutdown in Bangalore and other important cities like Belgaum, Hubli, Mangalore and Mysore.
All schools and colleges are closed in the state and the police are keeping a close watch to prevent any untoward incident from happening. The Majestic bus stand in Bangalore was near empty too.
Most offices and IT companies are also shut even as 17,000 police personal are out in the streets to maintain law and order.
The bandh is also in force in Tamil Nadu as most parties are supporting the shutdown against what they called as Centre’s anti-people policies. However, as the ruling AIADMK is not supporting the move, it remains to be seen how the situation emerges as the day progresses.
Kerala is completely shut with workers of Left parties enforcing the Bharat Bandh across the state. All schools, colleges are closed. The roads wore a deserted look as people kept indoors.