Mixed response for Bharat Bandh in Bengaluru

Mixed response for Bharat Bandh in Bengaluru

Cong-JD(S) take to streets; BJP condemns bandh call

As KSRTC bus services were stopped, several passengers were stranded at the Kempegowda Bus Station. (DH Photo)

Alliance partners Congress and JD(S), held protests at various places in Bengaluru, during Monday's Bharat bandh called against rising fuel prices. 

The all-India bandh called by the Congress received a mixed response in Bengaluru, on Monday. But normal life was definitely hit as government buses stayed off roads. Bengaluru Metro services however, remained operational. Schools and colleges remained closed.

No buses 

As KSRTC bus services were stopped, several passengers were stranded at the Kempegowda Bus Station and scores of office-goers were affected with the BMTC suspending its services. Bengaluru Metro was crowded as a result. 

The Vidhana Soudha and M S Building -- both power centres, wore a deserted look. Employees who did make it to work, brought their own vehicles. 

Private taxi aggregators like Ola & Uber, and auto-rickshaws, were partially affected. Commuters complained that, taking advantage of the dire situation, auto drivers were fleecing them by charging higher fares even for short distances.   

Congress protests

Congress workers took out a rally from Maurya Circle to Mysore Bank Circle on bullock carts and bikes. Hundreds of them protested against the Union government at Mysore Bank circle and demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi must keep his promise of providing a common man-friendly government.

JD(S) supports bandh

JD(S), which is an ally of the Congress in the state, supported the all-India bandh on Monday. Hundreds of JD(S) workers protested in front of Town Hall and took out a protest march to the Bengaluru Urban Deputy Commissioner's office and submitted a memorandum to the DC.

JD(S) MLC T A Sharavana caught his own party leaders by surprise when he arrived at the protest venue- on horse back. Pro-Kannada activists picketed the central bus stand and the city railway station.

Addressing protestors, Sharavanna said, "The protest is not just against the price hike, but also against the dictatorial attitude of Centre. Senior BJP leaders' agenda is to destabilise the coalition govt in Karnataka. They have not kept promises made during the 2014 elections. And now, when H D Kumaraswamy is providing a model administration, the Centre is playing dirty politics".

BJP condemns bandh call

The BJP however, condemned the Congress and JD(S) for 'misleading' people by observing a bandh.

BJP State President B S Yeddyurappa said that the bandh call was ill intended.

"The entire world knows why fuel prices are rising. In Karnataka, schools and colleges have been intentionally shut down. This is an organised bandh against the Centre - a conspiracy by the JD(S)-Congress coalition government. The government is misleading people," he stated.

Terming the bandh as a "government-sponsored bandh", BJP general secretary and MLC N Ravi Kumar said that the bandh was politically motivated.