Kolkata: The nationwide shutdown called by the Congress and Left parties against the fuel price hike on Monday evoked lukewarm response in West Bengal, with vehicular traffic remaining near normal. The ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) had previously opposed the strike and said the state government would take every possible step to ensure that the public life remains unaffected. In Kolkata, most of the shops and markets remained open while the city’s metro service functioned normally.
However, the number of commuters were significantly less in the early hours on Monday compared to other working days. A large number of public and private buses were seen plying in the city’s important points including Shyambazar five point, Esplanade crossing, Jadavpur and Ruby crossing. The train service in Sealdah and Howrah section under the Eastern Railway was temporarily disrupted as the strike supporters blocked rail movements in Jadavpur and Sreerampur stations.
However, they were removed by the police within half an hour. No untoward incidents of violence or clashes were reported. Protesting against the steep hike in fuel price under the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre, the Congress called for the shutdown on Monday. The Left parties including CPI-M, CPI, RSP has also called for a 12-hour long ‘hartal’ (strike) on Monday against the Narendra Modi government’s policies.