bandh against diesel price hike, cap on LPG cylinders and FDI in retail threw normal life out of gear in the BJP-ruled state with the protest evoking a good response. Life in the major cities was affected due to the bandh.
Educational institutions, retail shops, malls, industrial units, banking operations and even transport almost came to a standstill in Ahmedabad.
The commercial business hubs of the city like CG Road and SG Road wore a deserted look. Hundreds of BJP workers came out on the streets to enforce the bandh.
Transport operations of Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) and Ahmedabad Municipal Transport Service (AMTS) were suspended. BJP workers also tried to halt rail traffic on the Mumbai and Delhi routes.
Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) has supported the bandh call due to which industrial operations have also been affected.
In Surat, the diamond and textile industry which are the two main sectors, supported the bandh due to which both the markets and retail outlets connected to them remained closed. In Vadodara also, the bandh evoked good response.
All educational institutes and shops in Rajkot remained closed while petrol pumps and private bus operators also extended support by joining the bandh.
"Most of the private bus operators have decided to join in the bandh by closing their service till 5 pm," sources from the Rajkot Private Bus Operators Association said.
While most of the petrol pumps remained closed, the Saurashtra Kutch Transport Association also joined protest which badly affected the transportation of essential commodities like vegetables and milk.
Various associations including Rajkot Gold Dealers Association, Tyre Dealers Association, Chemical Dealers Association joined in the bandh while Rajkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry refrained from the protest.
"Though the government's policy is directly affecting the small and medium retailers in the country, we did not ask our members to close their shops," RCCI president Sameer Shah said, adding that the RCCI was against the government's policy on FDI but believed that bandh was not the solution.
Rajkot Bar Association also joined in the bandh while BJP state unit president RC Faldu led a rally and shouted slogans against the UPA government near Indira circle in the city. However, there was no report of any untoward incident so far, police added.