New Delhi: The BJP and Left parties have called for a nationwide bandh today to protest against spiraling prices. Inflation is in double digits and fuel prices have risen since the government deregulated oil prices.
The opposition claims it’s taking the aam admi’s protest to the streets, and if that’s not all, the Left is also protesting against the fuel hike demanding a roll back.
Here is how it is affecting you, specially, if you are in states where the BJP and the Left have a significant presence:
In Mumbai, schools and colleges remained closed today; the streets of the city were deserted.
Domestic flights were hit hard: 42 arrivals and 47 departures were cancelled. One international flight -Air India’s Mumbai-Delhi-Hong Kong- was cancelled.
Local trains are running on time, but are largely empty.
78 buses have been damaged. Taxis and autos are not available for commuters.
Over 1000 people were held as preventive measure in Mumbai. The city’s police have said any person or political party indulging in violence and vandalising public property will be made to pay compensation, and about 40,000 policemen have been deployed to maintain law and order.
If you are flying in and out of Kolkata, bad news – private airlines won’t be operating as they don’t want to take any chances. Air India is operating all flights till noon. Morning flights to Delhi, Mumbai, Guwahati and Aizwal have all taken off, but flights to Delhi in the afternoon are being rescheduled for take-off after 6 pm. International flights to Yangon and Kathmandu will depart, as scheduled, in the afternoon.
There have been demonstrations at 16 stations and the Eastern Railways has suspended suburban and long distance trains. Some long distance trains coming into Howrah have been stuck just short of the station since early morning.
Metro services have been blocked at the Karol Bagh Metro Station. Around 100 BJP workers have also blocked the Rajiv Chowk Metro Station in Connaught Place.
BJP workers also tried to stop trains at Shakur Basti and Mundka, although train services at the New Delhi Railway Station are normal.
The Anand Vihar Bus Terminus has also been blocked by protesters.
Flight services are running on schedule at the Indira Gandhi Airport.
BJP leader Vijay Jolly has also been detained along with other protesters from the BRT corridor in South Delhi.
The Jehanabad-Islampur Express and nine other express and mail trains have been blocked by protesters. Buhar is ruled by the JD(U)-BJP, and party workers are all out to ensure the bandh is a success.
The Rajgir-Danapur Express has been detained at Karahdhi. About 100 agitators have stalled the Jehanabad-Islampur Express at Rajendranagar since about 5.25 am.
As office hours began, BJP workers began forcing vehicles and bikers off the roads.Woman workers of the BJP have blocked traffic and tyres are being burnt in front of Patna University.
All schools and most business establishments are closed. Private vehicles, buses, taxis and auto-rickshaws are off the roads. Passengers are stranded at railway stations.
However, protesters are allowing two-wheelers to ply. And emergency and hospital services have been exempted from the bandh.
The ruling Left combine and the BJP have planned protest marches in all district headquarters.
The nationwide bandh has hit bus services in district towns of Andhra Pradesh. 1200 buses have been disrupted, while four buses have been vandalised. Road Transport Corporation buses are plying in Hyderabad. The Telugu Desam is supporting the bandh here.
President Pratibha Patil is attending a programme in Hyderabad near the state Assembly, and the area has been sanitised to ensure that her movement is not affected by the bandh.
Private buses and autos are staying off the roads. 5000 policemen have been deployed to maintain peace.
In Lucknow, BJP leaders Arun Jaitley and Muqtar Abbas Naqvi have courted arrest after a lathicharge on party workers outside the party’s office.
There were reports of a lathicharge on Samajwadi Party workers outside their party office too as the Mayawati government came down heavily on protesters. Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party is not supporting the bandh.
Buses from Tamil Nadu to Kerala, which is ruled by the Left and to Karnataka, ruled by the BJP, have been stopped.
Flights from Chennai to Kolkata, Mangalore and Cochin have also been cancelled.