The opposition parties’ call for a nationwide strike (Bharat bandh) on Monday against demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 banknotes got a mixed response in the state.
In Jalandhar, residents went about their daily work as markets, schools and business establishments were working. Those affected by demonetisation too had no time to join the strike as long queues were seen outside banks and ATMs.
At Patiala too, the Jan Akrosh Diwas call did not have any major impact as markets were open. Patiala (urban) MLA Preneet Kaur led a protest at Anardana chowk with over 500 supporters.
In Gurdaspur, Congress workers, led by Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) general secretary Raman Bahl, staged a dharna and blocked the traffic on the Grand Trunk (GT) road at the Post Office chowk, after holding a protest rally at Nehru Park.
At Mansa, the bandh drew a lukewarm response. Members of CPI (ML) Liberation, who were led by Ranjit Singh, local MLA candidate of the party, said the entire business and labour classes have incurred huge financial loss during the past 20 days.
BANDH NOT SOLUTION, SAY BUSINESSMEN
The local markets were open. Businessmen, though critical of monetisation, said shutdown is not a solution. “We have faced huge losses since Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetisation. Shutdown or bandh will only add to our losses,” said Pawan Kumar, a local trader of Mansa.
The Congress protest in Tarn Taran was led by Dr Dharamvir Agnihotri, at the main chowk of Chabhal village.
Later in a statement, the Congress claimed party leaders and workers came out on the roads in large numbers to support the bandh.