New Delhi: The Congress party has called for a Bharat bandh (Nationwide shutdown) on Monday to protest against the skyrocketing fuel prices and the falling value of the rupee against the US dollar. The grand old party has claimed that several chambers of commerce and traders’ bodies and 20 Opposition parties including SP, BSP, TMC, DMK and RJD have supported its Bharat bandh call.
However, Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party(AAP) has made it clear that it would not join the shutdown call by the Congress. The Biju Janata Dal (BJD), a non-NDA party, said although it is against the fuel price hike, it will not support the Bandh. The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) ruling in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana respectively, are also not supporting the call.
The bandh will be observed across the country between 9 AM and 3 PM as the Congress party has made it clear that it does not want to cause inconvenience to the common masses. Speaking to media, senior Congress leader Randeep Surjewala said, “The timing of the bandh is such that “the common person is not inconvenienced.”
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.
Following the shutdown, 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.
However, 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.