Gujarat Congress on Sunday postponed its call for Gujarat Bandh, scheduled for Monday, by a week, stating that they wanted to ensure that people , who were already facing a lot of hardship due to demonetisation, did not face more problems since the banks were closed on weekends. Gujarat Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki said that they would take further decision on the call of bandh a week later after reassessing the situation. Reacting to the development, Gujarat BJP claimed Congress had to “withdraw” its bandh call after gauging the mood of the people who were not ready to support it.
Solanki said, “We have postponed our call for bandh on Monday for a week. It will be a uniform stand of the party across the country. People are already facing a lot of problems due to demonetisation and banks were closed for two days (Saturday and Sunday). So, we do not want to add to their plight. Eighteen days have already passed since the decision was announced. We will assess the situation after one week to see if things improve for the public or not and then decide further.”
Meanwhile, Gujarat Congress issued a release stating that party workers will hold protests across the state — in 33 districts and 8 municipal corporations — by observing “Jan Akrosh Divas” on Monday. It added that the protest programme has been decided after Solanki held meetings with various commercial organisations, labour unions, farmers’ bodies and people from various communities who are facing immense problems due to demonetisation.
Solanki also called upon party workers to make sure that the protests don’t hinder banking services, educational institutions, students’ exams and emergency medical services.
Reacting to the announcement by the state Congress, Gujarat BJP president Jitu Vaghani issued a statement and said that the Congress was forced to “roll back” its call of bandh by the people of Gujarat. “The people of the country have welcomed the Prime Minister’s move to get rid of black money. Taking the PM’s decision forward, people are following the measures of cashless transactions recommended by the Union Government which strengthen the economy. Due to this, Congress has been forced to roll back its call of bandh on Monday,” Vaghani said.