Bengaluru: Normal life was thrown out of gear during the ‘Bharat Bandh’ called by the Congress and supported by JD(S), its ally in the coalition government, and other parties, to protest the rise in prices of petroleum products. Roads in the city wore a deserted look since morning as government buses, private taxis and most of the autorickshaws did not ply.
Business establishments, shops, malls, certain private enterprises remained closed. The busy central bus stand in Bengaluru, which is normally bustling with activity also wore a deserted look, sources said. KSRTC buses kept off the road, sources said, adding city buses also did not ply.
Hundreds of workers belonging to the Congress, JD(S), Left parties and various other outfits came on the streets to ensure the bandh was a success. They raised slogans against the hike in petrol and diesel prices. In Mangaluru, incidents of stone pelting at hotels and shops, which remained open, were reported.
The shutdown was successful in many other parts of the state including Tumakuru, Ramanagar, Mandya, Channapatna, Hassan, Mangaluru, Chamarajnagar, Mysuru. Hubballi, Bidar and Kolar. BJP state chief B S Yeddyurappa condemned the shutdown and called it a conspiracy by the coalition government of the Congress and JD(S) for forcibly making the bandh successful.
“It’s an ill-intended bandh to trouble the common man and mislead them. This bandh is benefiting only the extortionists. People know what’s happening. Nowhere in the country it’s successful except for Karnataka because it’s a conspiracy of the Congress and JD(S),” Yeddyurappa said.
Elaborate security arrangements were made by the Karnataka Police in view of the bandh. The ‘Bharat Bandh’ was called by the Congress to protest the spiralling prices of petroleum products and supported by its allies in various states.