The Bharath bandh call evoked good response in the city on Thursday. Members of various political parties, labour organisations and traders protested against the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre for limiting subsidised domestic LPG cylinders to six per year, increase in price of essential commodities including diesel and allowing of FDI in multi-brand retail sector.
All major commercial activities came to a standstill in the city, while a holiday had been declared for schools and colleges as a precautionary measure. All public transport, including KSRTC and private buses, except trains was paralysed. However, healthcare was not affected. Hospitals and pharmacies were open. The main roads wore a deserted look, however, people from rural areas were found waiting for buses at the bus stop.
MLC K R Mallikarjunappa led BJP members. The protestors took out a procession from their party office, shouted slogans and attempted to lay a siege to the BSNL and post office. They were taken into custody by the police and later let free.
The agitators alleged that the UPA government has become anti-people and was allowing FDI in retail, which would prove to be a big blow to small traders. “The government is only interested in burrying its scams worth lakhs of crores and is neglecting development.
Inflation is on the rise, rupee has lost value against US dollar. The economy of the country is in a shambles. So, the Union government must be ousted,” they demanded.
Taluk president Somesh, CHUDA president Balasubramanya, Nandish, Shanthamurthy and others were present.
Members of JD(S) took out a procession from the Travellers’ Bungalow, shouted slogans against the UPA and Congress and staged a protest demonstration at Bhuvaneshwari Circle. Taluk president Mangala Shivakumar, councillor Nagaraju, Mohamed Asgar Munna, Syed Najimulla and other took part in the protests.
Bharath bandh was near total in the city to protest against the Union government on Thursday.
Vehicular traffic and movement of people was sparse since the morning itself, business establishments remained closed around the old bus stand and surrounding areas. BJP members were found forcing traders to down shutters of a few shops.
As KSRTC buses stayed off roads, travelling people were stranded. Some people were using private vehicles. Cinema halls, post office, banks and government offices did not function. Even though the number of patients visiting hospitals was less, all hospitals remained open. Even pharmacies were open. A holiday had been declared for schools and colleges.
Members of BJP, JD(S), CPM, CPI, H D Kumaraswamy Raitha Sangha and Karnataka Kavalu Pade staged protest demonstrations separately under the guidance of their respective leaders. Some of them took out a bike rally.
Security had been beefed up to avert any untoward incident. Normal life resumed after 5 pm. KSRTC buses started service.
District observed a total bandh called by non-United Progressive Alliance parties all over the country opposing various policies of Central government.
No shops were open, holiday was declared for schools and colleges. Theatres were closed and bus services were affected totally.
Rasta roko, protests and burning effigies were common by activists of BJP, JD(S), CPI(M) and others. Agitators raised slogans against Congress and urged for roll back of diesel price, foreign direct investment and other issues.
Commuters at bus stand had to wait till evening. Government offices had least attendance and most offices shut down within 4 pm.
BJP workers led by district unit president H P Mahesh took out a bike rally from Sanjay circle to market and other places. Arriving at deputy commissioner’s office, they submitted a memorandum through DC.