New Delhi, Sep 10: Congress chief Rahul Gandhi kickstarted the party's call for a nationwide shutdown from Rajghat in New Delhi on Monday.
Congress has claimed that 21 parties, including SP, BSP, TMC, DMK and RJD, as well as several chambers of commerce and traders' bodies, have backed its Bharat bandh call. Leaders of Opposition parties are expected to stage a dharna at Rajghat today. Moreover, five Left Front parties have given a separate call for bandh over the hike in fuel prices, the problem of farmers and unemployment issues.
While the shutdown has remained peaceful so far, incidents of violence have been reported from Pune, Bharuch and Patna. While MNS workers vandalised buses in Pune, protesters in Patna and Gujarat's Bharuch district burnt tyres on roads.
Bharat Bandh largely successful in Bengaluru
State government-run bus services were majorly hit on Monday's Bharat Bandh in Karnataka with busy junctions in Bengaluru wearing a deserted look. Both intra-city and inter-state bus services from and to Bengaluru were affected as workers chose not to report on duty.
The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) which runs buses to and from the airport and also within the city were also off the roads.
Bandh cripples life in Odisha
Vehicular movement on the roads was affected in almost all major cities in the state starting from 6 AM in the morning as Congress workers resorted to road blockades by burning tyres. In rural areas also, streets remained deserted and denizens had a tough time for various works as bandh supporters resorted to picketing.
While following a directive by State School and Mass Education Department earlier, the government schools remained closed other educational institutions also followed those to avert any untoward incidents.
Shutdown throws life out of gear across Assam
While the bandh has total response in places across Assam, it evoked partial response in Guwahati - the gateway of the Northeast. However, most of the schools chose to remain closed, while couple of CBSE affiliated schools have remained open.
Sporadic incidents of bandh enforcers forcibly shutting down a few shops here and there across the city have been reported.
Rail, road traffic hit in Bihar
Rail and road traffic has been hit across Bihar today due to a nationwide shutdown called by the Congress against the hike in fuel prices.
The shutdown is being supported by the Opposition Rashtryia Janata Dal (RJD), Left Parties and Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM).
Over a dozen long route trains were halted at Patna, Gaya, Bhojpur, Jehanabad, Bhagalpur and Muzaffarpur railway stations.
Life normal in West Bengal
Bharat had little impact in West Bengal on Monday. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) has made it clear that they will oppose the bandh but will hit the streets in protest over the same issue.
Public life and vehicular movement in Kolkata and most of the districts are normal on Monday morning. The two nerve centres of Kolkata and Howrah district-Sealdah and Howrah Stations- witnessed regular crowd of passengers in the morning. Bus services around the two two key rail stations is also normal.