New Delhi: Congress has called for a nationwide shutdown, that is, ‘Bharat Bandh‘ on Monday (September 10) in order to protest against the rising fuel prices and the falling value of the rupee against the dollar. Congress supremo Sonia Gandhi and other opposition leaders will be at Raj Ghat in support of Bandh. Also Read - Shatabdi Roy Meets Mamata's Nephew Abhishek Banerjee, Says She Is Not Leaving TMC
Extending support and raising voice against the same are Opposition parties such as DMK, NCP, RJD, JD(S), TMC and several other civil society groups and NGOs. The Congress has made it clear that though it is protesting against the spiralling petrol and diesel prices, it does not want to cause inconvenience to the common masses. Also Read - Subhra Kundu, Wife of Rose Valley Group Chief Gautam Kundu, Arrested By CBI
Keeping in mind the convenience of the people, the bandh will be observed today across the country from 9 AM to 3 PM. Congress leader Randeep Surjewala said, “The timing of the bandh is such that “the common person is not inconvenienced.” Also Read - Karnataka: Is BJP Planning to End Taluk Panchayat? Congress Questions State's Intention
Demands of the Opposition:
The Congress has accused the government of making false promises to the common man and called for Bharat Bandh to protest against the rise in fuel prices and other commitments. Apart from the above-mentioned reason, the Congress will be demanding an immediate reduction of central excise duty and excessive VAT in the states, bringing petrol and diesel under the ambit of GST among others.
While Congress has its demands chalked out for today, JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav will also raise the issue of the increase in the attacks against Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and OBCs.
Effect of Bandh in several places:
Schools and colleges across Bengaluru will remain shut today as transport services may not be available between 9 AM and 3 PM. All the schools which will be closed today will have a full-day class on September 15. Meanwhile, exams scheduled for September 10 are likely to be postponed due to Bharat Bandh.
It may be noted that private schools will not participate in the bandh in the interest of students. Heads of educational institutions can use their discretionary powers to decide on giving a holiday. The state buses will not ply on the roads as the KSRTC Staff and Workers Association have offered to support the bandh. All state-run transport corporations – BMTC, KSRTC, NWKRTC, NEKRTC – will be hit by the Bandh today.
As per reports, cab aggregators Ola, Uber and Taxi For Sure have pledged their support to the bandh but will ply on the roads to ease public transportation. Metro services will, however, remain unaffected.
Congress state unit of the party Dinesh Gundu Rao said, “Our objective is not to trouble people or torment them, this bandh should be spontaneous. We are living in the most difficult times. He said that the bandh will convey people’s ‘anger and hardship’ arising out of PM Modi’s policies in the hope that he will implement plans that benefit the masses.”
Karnataka Government declared a public holiday for tomorrow for schools and colleges in Bengaluru as a precautionary measure ahead of Bharat Bandh today.
Who will observe the bandh to what extent?
The Bharat Bandh will be observed in several states including Maharashtra, Bihar, Karnataka, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, where regional opposition parties have come in support of the bandh call. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) also extended its support to the nationwide bandh and said that though it supported the shutdown, it would take all measures so that the ‘aam junta’ isn’t affected.
Meanwhile, Biju Janata Dal (BJD) spokesperson Sasmit Patra said that they were are neither supporting nor opposing the Bharat Bandh but they have been fighting against the price rise of petrol and diesel in the country since a long time and they would continue doing so.