Free Press Journal

Bhopal: Mix response to Congress’ Bharat bandh


Call of Bharat bandh given by Congress on fuel price hike evoked mixed response in Bhopal on Monday. Traders closed their shops for the day in residential colonies Mixed response to bandh was observed in prominent market like New Market, Chowk Bazar, Bairagarh, MP Nagar. In many places shops were opened after 2.00pm. It was weekly holiday in New Market so big shops as usual remain closed but small shops remained open.

In Bairagarh whole sale cloth market was closed while retailers had kept their shops open. In Sant Hirdaram Business complex, Congress workers and BJP workers developed dispute over bandh.  Chowk Bazar, shops were closed in morning hours and till noon, but later they were opened.Karni Sena and Brahaman Samaj painted black colour on the posters of poltical leaders of major political parties at Board Office Square against the bandh. Notably no political party openly supported their call for bandh on September 6 which was given to protest against amendment in SC/ST Atrocity Act.

Kalpataru Multiplier Limited managing director Adityamanya Jain said, “Fuel price hike will show its adverse effect from next month when RBI will revise interest rates and festival season ensues. “It will lead to an increase in EMI’s, cost of automobiles and other consumer durables. It will have a multi-pronged impact on the market as the rates of other essential commodities will also start increasing. It will be better if the government handle’s the situation before imposing model code of conduct,” he added.

Thoke Kapada Vyapari Sangh vice president Nanak Chandanani said, “Prices of textile items has already increased by 25 per cent due surges in prices of fuel. Transportation cost has also increased by 25 per cent, cotton bales which used to cost earlier Rs140 now it costs Rs 190. Similarly, retails prices also increased accordingly.”

New Market Businessmen Association president Satish Gangrade said, “Rates of commodities have already increased. Transportation and logistics rates have been increased with hike in fuel prices- it ultimately affects the prices of other commodities. Business almost ruined. New market was closed as it happen on Monday. Small shops remain open.”

MP Petrol pumps dealers Association president Ajay Singh said, “We had not supported the bandh call so we did not close the petrol pumps in MP. If protesters approached our establishments then fuel distribution was closed for the time being for security’s sake but later they resumed regular business. No petrol pump suspended its business completely in MP.”

CM’s son kept his shop open

Congress workers approached CM’s son shop Florika, 10 number markets. CM’s son had closed the shop on September 6 when upper castes had given bandh call in protest against amendment in SC/ST Atrocity Act. This time too Congress had anticipated that CM’s son will keep his shop closed but this time he opened the shop. Heavy police forces were deployed at the shop so there was confrontation between Congress workers and police.

Ex-MLA, supporters force petrol pump’s shut down

Congress workers led by ex-MLA PC Sharma and his supporters were seen forcing petrol pump owners to shut down at Durga Petro pump at 5 no-Bus stop. Customers were forced to leave the petrol pump without refilling the tanks.  Congress workers shouted slogan in support of bandh call and petrol and diesel prices hike.

Confrontation at New Market

Another Congress leader Manoj Shukla with his supporters approached the shops in New Market make bandh successful. Shukla had a confrontation with traders over the issue. Late, Shukla appealed traders to keep the business establishment closed in support of price hike of petrol and diesel. However, police forces pacified the two sides and controlled the situation.