The Congress and Left Front called for a “Bharat Bandh” on Monday from 9am to 3pm, against the fuel price hike and rupee downfalling value against dollar. The protest saw a mix reaction in various states of the country wherein Mizoram Pradesh Congress stayed away from following the Bandh protest. Parties like JD-S (Janata Dal Secular), the Samajwadi Party (SP), DMK (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam), RJD (Rashtriya Janata Dal) and MNS (Maharashtra Navnirman Sena) stood along the Congress and Left Front to mark their support for the nationwide bandh on Monday, while West Bengal’s ruling party, TMC (Trinamool Congress), Delhi’s ruling party AAP (Aam Admi Party), Odisha’s ruling party BJD (Biju Janata Dal) and Maharashtra BJP-alliance Shiv Sena stayed kilometers away from the Bandh. The means to protest range from cart riding, pulling bike on protesters’ shoulders and setting effigies of PM Modi on fire, and this was claimed to be peaceful protest.
Congress chief Rahul Gandhi joined the protest from Rajghat in New Delhi where other senior Congress party leaders viz; Randeep Singh Surjewala, Ashok Gehlot and Abhishek Singh Singhvi also roared from there. “The rupee has never seen so weak in 70 years, petrol today is over Rs. 80 while Diesel is touching Rs. 80. Modi while in opposition used to clamour about price rise but today he is silent. Cooking gas has doubled to Rs. 800 but Modi doesn’t utter a word. Farmers are committing suicide but Modi is silent. BJP MLAs are found involved in rape but Modi says nothing,” complained Gandhi at Ramlila Maidan of Delhi. He also clamoured about Modi’s speeches where he claims Modi does no action, no address to the issues, just the words.
Talking about the protest, around 300 Congress leaders and workers were detained in Tripura and Gujarat for picketing outside Government offices and protests respectively. Uttar Pradesh witnessed Congress and Samajwadi Party riding carts to express their dissent over fuel price hike. Bengaluru also saw Bullock, Horses and Donkey carts ridden by JDS MLC Sharavana and Kannada activist like Vatal Nagaraj.
In Mumbai, a report states around 14 BEST buses on various routes were vandalised in different parts of the city. MNS, Congress and NCP came together to observe the implementation of the nationwide bandh in the city. Metro service was also reportedly stopped by MNS functionaries at DN Nagar metro station. Lucknow, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana showed very less affect of the protest and showed normalcy except few agitation at some places.