Although courts in the country have deemed bandhs as illegal and unconstitutional, the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP)-led opposition was firm that it wants to bring the city of Mumbai to a grinding halt on Monday.
The Supreme Court in a 1998 judgement had deemed all bandhs to be illegal and unconstitutional, but opposition parties including the BJP and the Shiv Sena feel that an agitation is important to make the government hear their voice against fuel price hike.
“The bandh is imperative as it seems to be the only way that this government will hear and understand the plight of the common man,” said BJP leader Kirit Somaiyya at a press meet at the party office in Nariman Point.
“The government has earned Rs 1 lakh crore in the 3G spectrum auction. It is a windfall for the government and this should be used to control the rising petroleum product prices,” said BJP General Secretary Navjot Singh Sidhu.
The combined opposition has called for a Bharat Bandh on July 5. A majority of the political parties, other than the ruling alliance are supporting the bandh.
Sena President Udhhav Thackeray has also supported the nationwide shut down. “We will be a part of this bandh because we want to express the anger and the frustration of the people who have been burdened by rising inflation,” said Thackeray.
People in the city are apprehensive about stepping out on Monday. “The shutdown has been supported by the Shiv Sena, so I am sure there will be some trouble.’’ said Gaurav Pant, a financial consultant.
The state said it is geared to protect citizens and will ensure that no untoward instances occur. “Some political issues have been raised by the parties and I will not like to comment on them. But, my task is to see that life is not disrupted and whoever tries to do it, will be taken to task,’’ Chief Minister Ashok Chavan told reporters at the Congress office.