Bharat Bandh evokes mixed response

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 11 Sep 2018 08:12:44



THE Bharat Bandh called by the Congress and Left on Monday against rising fuel prices and tumbling rupee evoked mixed response in the country as the Opposition closed its ranks against the Modi Government. The BJP dubbed the protest a failure.

The day-long shutdown affected normal life in Odisha, Karnataka, Bihar, Kerala and Tripura and triggered a mixed response in Gujarat, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. But it was mostly ineffective in Mamata Banerjee-ruled West Bengal.

Shutdown enforcers resorted to blocking roads and rail tracks disrupting traffic in several parts of the country. In Bihar, a critically ill three-year-old girl died on her way to a hospital in Jehanabad town apparently due to a road blockade.

Bandh supporters allegedly resorted to violence and clashed with the police in some parts areas, prompting the ruling BJP, which dubbed the shutdown a “complete failure”, of accusing the Congress of creating an “environment of fear” by violently enforcing the shutdown.
Normal life was paralysed in Odisha with vehicular movement and train services thrown out of gear as Congress workers blocked roads and trains.

Hundreds of Congress activists were arrested. The Railways cancelled 12 trains while schools and colleges were closed. Normal life was hit in Bihar with the shutdown supported by the Rashtryia Janata Dal (RJD), Left, Hindustani Awam Morcha and Jan Adhikar Party of Pappu Yadav.Hundreds of Congress and other Opposition parties leaders and workers took to the streets. Shutdown supporters blocked national and state highways, disrupted rail and road traffic for hours and stranding thousands of passengers. Demonstrators clashed with police in several places while dozens of vehicles in Patna were damaged. In Karnataka, normal life was affected as public transport kept off the roads across the state. Schools and colleges were closed although state and central government offices remained open. Global software firms like Infosys and Wipro functioned normally. Life was thrown out of gear in BJP-ruled Tripura with most markets, shops and business establishments closed and private and passenger vehicles off the roads. Government offices and some banks were open but employee attendance was low.

But the BJP claimed that Bandh was a failure in Tripura.
Two-year-old girl dies in Bihar on way to hospital: A CRITICALLY ill two-year-old girl died on Monday on her way to a hospital as Bharat Bandh supporters blocked roads in Bihar’s Jehanabad town. Pramod Manjhi, the victim’s father, said his daughter was suffering from diarrhoea and was advised to take her to a hospital in Jehanabad.

“We faced several obstructions on our way to the town. Our autorickshaw was stopped at many places which resulted in delay and led to her condition to deteriorate. She died before we reached,” Manjhi said.

However, Jehanabad Sub-Divisional Officer Paritosh Kumar refuted Manjhi’s claims, saying: “The child was seriously ill and was hospitalised late.”


People not supporting Oppn’s bandh, oil price rise due to global factors: BJP



THE BJP on Monday defended the rise in oil prices, attributing it to global factors, and accused the Congress and other Opposition parties of resorting to violence during the ‘Bharat Bandh’ as people did not support their call.
Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad acknowledged that the people were facing “momentary difficulty” due to increasing petrol and diesel prices and said they understand that this was due to factors beyond the control of the Central Government. Noting that oil prices had gone down after the Bharatiya Janata Party Government came to power in May 2014, before they went up, he said it is a problem whose solution is not in its hands. “We are standing with people in their problem. We are trying to redress the issue and will do that,” he told a press conference.

Prasad claimed that the people understood the Government’s point of view and refused to support the ‘Bharat Bandh’ call given by the Congress and several other Opposition parties. “That is unnerving the Congress and other Opposition parties. Their resort to violence is designed to overawe the people of India. An atmosphere of fear is being created,” he said.

Citing the death of a three-year old girl in Bihar as she could not get medical help in time due to pro-Bandh protesters allegedly stopping an ambulance, he asked if Congress President Rahul Gandhi will take responsibility for this.

Hitting out at the Congress and other Opposition parties, Prasad said they should stop this “dance of violence and game of death”.