Bharat Bandh called by BJP and Left parties to protest against diesel price hike, FDI in multi-brand retail and cap on subsidized LPG, on Thursday evoked a mixed response in Vidarbha and particularly in Nagpur.
According to reports reaching here this evening, vehicular traffic in the region was smooth and there was no reports of any untoward incident, barring damaging of a city bus by protesters near Trimurti Nagar in west Nagpur this morning.
The city police informed that a group of protesters pelted stones at the bus when it tried to ply on the road at Trimurti Nagar. However, no one has been arrested in this connection so far.
The bandh evoked a partial response from shopkeepers and business establishments in Nagpur. Most shops on the busy Sitabuldi area --city’s business district -- were open while few business establishments at Itwari area were closed down till afternoon.
However, several retailers in the city supported the bandh after downing their shutters in support of the bandh.
School and colleges in Nagpur and other districts in the region were open despite the fact that ABVP, a students’ wing of the sangh parivar, has a strong base in several colleges in the region.
Autorickshaws and state-run buses plied on the roads since morning even though few stayed away fearing violence. Trains were also running as schedule in the area.
However, the BJP succeeded to affect the normal life in Chandrapur city. The state BJP chief Sudhir Mungantiwar and several BJP workers took out a big morcha at Chandrapur this morning and appealed to businessmen to close shops in protest against the fuel hike and the move to allow FDI in multi-brand retail in the country.
The Shiv Sena, the principal ally of the BJP in state and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena in the region are not supporting the bandh in view of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival. "We are getting moral support of Sena in the bandh," claimed Mungantiwar.
Over 1000 BJP activisits were detained in Nagpur, including senior party legislators, Devendra Fadnavis and Sudhakar Deshmukh.