Thursday, 20 September 2012

Bandh to protest diesel price hike, FDI evokes mixed response

Bandh to protest diesel price hike, FDI evokes mixed response
Clean Media Correspondent

New Delhi, Sept 20 (CMC) A nationwide bandh called by BJP, Left parties and UPA's outside supporter SP to protest diesel price hike and FDI in multi-brand retail today evoked mixed response with life being disrupted in some states and their top leaders courting arrest.

Protesters blocked trains and road traffic in many areas in Bihar, West Bengal, UP and other places and staged demonstrations. However, no major untoward incident was reported from anywhere.

While in Delhi most of the markets remained closed and traffic was disrupted at some places, the bandh evoked little response in the country's commercial hub Mumbai owing to Ganesh festivities across Maharashtra. Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) have kept away from the day-long bandh due to the festival.

SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Left leaders Prakash Karat and A B Bardhan courted arrest here after holding a joint demonstration at Jantar Mantar. The leaders of SP, four Left parties, JD(S), TDP and BJD marched to Parliament Street Police Station along with supporters and courted arrest.

Besides Yadav, Karat (CPI-M) and Bardhan (CPI), other prominent leaders who courted arrested included Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M), Chandrababu Naidu (TDP) and H D Deve Gowda (JD-S). BJPs leader M Venkaiah Naidu and Shahnawaz Hussain were taken into preventive custody in Hyderabad.

At Jantar Mantar, Yechury and Bardhan shared the dais with BJP's Nitin Gadkari and Murli Manohar Joshi.

Normal life was disrupted in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha, Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh but evoked partial response in other states.

Shops in some areas in Delhi like Bhogal, Laxmi Nagar, Defence Colony and South Extension were open in the morning hours but big markets like Khan Market, Connaught Place, Greater Kailash, Karol Bagh, Chandni Chowk and Kashmere Gate were shut.

Auto rickshaws plied in the city and buses of state-run Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) were on the roads in large numbers. At New Delhi railway station, auto drivers staged a protests and refused to carry passengers.

However, most of the private schools in the capital remained closed. 

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