A bandh called by NDA,Left parties and SP to protest against diesel price hike,FDI in multi-brand retail and cap on subsidised LPG today evoked mixed response as protestors disrupted road and rail traffic in parts of UP,Bihar,West Bengal and Odisha but it had little impact in Mumbai.
In Delhi,most of the markets remained closed and vehicular movement was normal though protesters blocked traffic at some places.
Shops in some areas like Bhogal,Laxmi Nagar,Defence Colony and South Extension in the capital were open in the morning hours but though big markets like Khan Market,Connaught Place,Greater Kailash,Karol Bagh,Chandni Chowk and Kashmere Gate were shut.
Auto rickshaws plied in the city and buses of state-run Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) were on the roads in large numbers. At New Delhi railway station,auto drivers staged a protests and refused to carry passengers.
However,most of the private schools in Delhi remained closed.
BJP supporters blocked vehicular movement on Vikas Marg. A BJP spokesperson said the party will be staging protests at around 100 locations in the capital.
A senior Delhi Police official said a large number of personnel have been deployed. “We have ensured that every major road has police presence,” he said.
Samajwadi Party and BJP workers staged demonstrations and stopped trains at a number of places in Uttar Pradesh. Protestors stopped trains in Mathura,Agra,Varanasi,Allahabad and Lucknow while BJP workers and traders blocked the Agra-Gwalior Highway by burning tyres.
Major markets remained closed at a number of places in UP,including in the state capital,official sources in Licknow. Raising slogans against FDI in retail,a group of SP workers held a demonstration outside the Walmart store at Sultanpur in Lucknow. The party also protested outside Divisional Railway Manager’s office in Hazratganj.
The bandh evoked little response in Mumbai owing to Ganesh festivities across Maharashtra. Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) have kept away from the day-long bandh due to the festival. Road and train services were also hit in several parts of Bihar. A group of BJP workers blocked rail traffic at Patna junction and stopped movement of a number of long distance express and passenger trains.
Life in the Kolkata and elsewhere in West Bengal was disrupted due to the 12-hour bandh called by Left parties. Though airport services were normal,train services in Eastern Railway and South Eastern Railway were disrupted,officials said.
Howrah-Pune Duranto Express,which started from Howrah on time,was stopped by the squatters here,railway sources said. Services of the Metro rail,Kolkata’s lifeline,were normal,officials said.
Airport sources said the flight operations were normal in Kolkata airport,except cancellation of two Indigo flights – Kolkata-New Delhi and Kolkata-Agartala which were scheduled to fly in the morning.
Normal life was affected in Odisha,barring the western region,due to disruption in train and road traffic during the bandh called separately by BJP and Left parties to protest the recent decisions of UPA government.
While state government offices,banks and insurance services remained closed on the occasion of “Nuakhai”,a major festival of western districts of the state,organisers of the dawn-to-dusk shut-down have kept the celebrations out of the purview of the protest.
In Karnataka,the bandh affected normal life as shops and offices chose to remain shut. Only essential commodities like milk and medical services are available but all schools and colleges were closed. The Secretariat in Bangalore wore a deserted look but the high court and lower courts were functioning.
In Congress-ruled Rajasthan,the bandh call got a mixed response. In Jaipur,major markets and business establishments remained closed and public transport was hit partially as many private buses and autorickshaws remained off road.