Bharat Bandh: Know What Happened Across India On Congress' Call For Bandh Over Rising Fuel Prices

11 Sep 2018 5:42 AM GMT
Bharat Bandh: Know What Happened Across India On Congress Call For Bandh Over Rising Fuel Prices
Image Credits: ANI/Twitter

On September 10, the Congress party and its allies had called for a nationwide shutdown following the continuous surge in fuel prices across the country. During the six-hour-long strike from 9 am to 3 pm, several parts of the country observed a near-complete shutdown of the public transport system, which caused immense trouble for the common citizens. With no public transport to rely upon, schools, colleges, shops and even businesses remained suspended for the day in Maharashtra, Bihar among other locations.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi, as well as several opposition leaders, kickstarted the nationwide bandh from Rajghat in New Delhi. They have demanded that fuel prices should be brought under the ambit of GST which would reduce the prices by about Rs 15 to Rs 18, reported Hindustan Times.

“Narendra Modi ji is silent, he has not spoken a word on rising prices of fuel, or condition of farmers, neither on atrocities against women,” Rahul Gandhi said. Coming down heavily on the NDA government, he said that the opposition will try and remove the BJP together. The call for a strike did not go unheard in parts of the country as Congress leaders are considering their call for a strike to be a success. Reportedly, following the strike, the Andhra Pradesh government has cut fuel prices by Rs 2 per litre.

What happened across India on Bandh day?

Reportedly, Bihar and Maharashtra were the worst affected by the bandh. Maharashtra state Congress backed by Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), the Samajwadi Party, the Peasants and Workers’ Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) led the shutdown, reported India Today.

In Mumbai, the protests were led by Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan who staged a ‘rail roko’ at the Andheri railway station for 15 minutes before being taken away by the security personnel. Protests were also held in different parts of the state including locations like Nashik, Kolhapur, Pandharapur and Virar. Reportedly, protestors also blocked the Mumbai- Ahmedabad Highway and MNS workers forced shops to shut down.

Bihar was the other state that was affected by the Bandh. Reportedly. Over 12 long-distance express and passenger trains were stopped at a number of stations in the state, while schools in the state’s capital remained suspended for the day. While enforcing the shutdown, protestors clashed with police personnel in several locations too.

Normalcy in Odisha too was halted as several Congress supporters staged protests. They also took part in a rail roko protest in several railway stations like Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Sambalpur, Rourkela, Balangir and Bhadrak. The East Coast Railway suspended a dozen trains. Reportedly, hundreds of Congress activists were arrested following the protests.

Protests were also staged in parts of Punjab, Delhi, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand among other states. While protests in Madhya Pradesh have been largely peaceful, the police have arrested over a 100 people due to protest-related incidents.

According to The Indian Express, the ruling LDF and the Opposition UDF in Kerala also observed the bandh. Demonstrations were carried out in various locations across the state while private and government buses, as well as autorickshaws, stayed off the streets. Karnataka too witnessed a similar situation.

What did the BJP have to say?

The BJP has wholly declared the bandh to be “unsuccessful”. Moreover, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the price hike is a momentary difficulty and hinted towards the fact that the central government would not push the state government to cut taxes. He also said that Indians understand that the rise in fuel prices is temporary and is a result of factors which is out of the control of the Indian government.

Even as the protests continued, fuel prices touched new highs of Rs 88.21 per litre in Mumbai and Rs 80.82 per litre in Delhi. Diesel is at Rs 77.41 per litre in Mumbai and Rs 72.92 per litre in Delhi.

Also Read: Bharat Bandh Called By Upper Caste Outfits Over Changes In SC/ST Act: What Has Happened On September 6

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