B'lore: Bharat Bandh becomes an extended holiday for techies

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Bangalore, Sep 18: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led NDA called for Bharat Bandh on Thursday, Sep 20 and the occasion has become an extended holiday for many techies who work in several IT companies in Bangalore.

Many IT companies such as Wipro, HP, DELL, ZTE, Cisco, SAP have already declared Thursday as holiday, though most of the employees have been asked to work on Saturday to compensate Thursday's work.

However, Thursday will be a working day for many other companies such as i-Gate, Fidelity, Oracle, Genpact, IBM. While few companies will provide cab facilities, many will not give the same. Employees, who have been asked to attend office and will not be provided any transport facilities, may face difficulties during travelling on Thursday.

How Bharat Bandh can be an extended holiday for techies?

India will celebrate Ganesha puja on Wednesday, Sep 19. Joining the aam-aadmi (common man) in celebrating the festive season, most of the companies in the city marked the day as holiday.

Now, with NDA's announcement of observing bandh on Thursday, techies have an opportunity to enjoy holidays for two consecutive days. However, many have decided to drag their office work to their houses and they will be working from home on Thursday.

Stray incidents of violence and protests were reported across the country when NDA had called for another strike on May 31 protesting against steep hike in petrol prices. Miscreants torched 3 BMTC buses, forcing the transport corporation to suspend all services in Bangalore. Office-goers and others were left stranded in bus stands. A KSRTC bus was also reportedly set on fire in Hubli.

According to sources, Thursday's Bharat Bandh could see a complete shutdown as BJP and most of its allies in NDA look desperate to convince all to participate in their protest against Congress-led UPA government. BJP party workers in Mumbai on Monday, Sep 17 urged 20 lakh traders to mobilise people to take active parts during the bandh on Thursday.

The party workers held a core group meeting with traders' associations across Mumbai and the rest of Maharashtra at leader of the Opposition, Eknath Khadse's residence. The meeting was attended by leader of the Opposition in state council, Vinod Tawde, deputy leader of the Lok Sabha, Gopinath Munde and many others.

However, Shiv Sena might become a hurdle on NDA's way to make the bandh a complete success in Maharashtra as Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray on Monday clarified his stand saying, "We will not create any hindrance to transport and add to citizens' woes by participating actively in the bandh."

Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) were not willing to mar Ganesh Puja celebration which will be kicked off from Wednesday, Sep 19.

"We'll participate in the agitation, but ensure it doesn't affect Ganeshotsav," said Uddhav Thackeray. However, Left parties in West Bengal also called for a general strike on Sept 20 against Centre's two-pronged "anti-people" decision - hiking diesel prices and limiting LPG numbers and opening the retail sector to foreign players.

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