The 12-hour Bharat Bandh called by 13 non-NDA, Non-UPA parties to protest against “the Centre’s failure to control the price rise” disrupted life in several parts of the country on Tuesday. The shutdown called by four Left parties, the Samajwadi Party, Telugu Desam Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Lok Janshakti Party, Rashtriya Lok Dal and others, was successful in states where these parties have a large presence.
While activists enforcing the shutdown brought rail, road and air traffic to a halt in several states, a major tragedy was averted in UP’s Auraiyya town near Kanpur.
Unlike their colleagues in other parts of UP, who torched two empty buses, activists in Auraiyya poured kerosene inside a bus with passengers in it and set it aflame. Luckily, everyone was able to get off the bus unharmed.
UP Chief Minister Mayawati said even though the BSP was with the people on the price rise, nobody had the right to disrupt law and order and damage public property in the name of an agitation.
In Kolkata, West Bengal Left Front chairman Biman Bose said the strike was a complete success and alleged that “stray incidents of violence were caused by the Trinamool Congress”.
In Patna, LJP leader Ram Vilas Paswan said, “The huge response is a reflection of the people's growing anger against the Centre and Bihar government, which have miserably failed in checking galloping prices.”
In New Delhi, Congress spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan said, “Their cause (against price rise) is spurious and based on incorrect assumptions.”
She said the Centre has taken several steps to contain prices but state governments are yet to act against hoarders and black marketers.
(With HTC, Ranchi, Thiruvananthapuram, Agartala)