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Bharat Bandh: Partial response in some parts of the country

New Delhi, Sep 20 (): Protesting against the ruling government’s decision, eight opposition parties on Thursday staged a nation-wide agitation in the capital city against hike in diesel prices and against introducing the FDI in retail.

“The government is trying to make a fool by saying FDI will provide more job opportunities. It will cause great trouble to farmers and the common man,” said the BJP president Nitin Gadkari.

Following the strike, shops and markets remained closed in Delhi, in addition to some educational institutions as well. Left leader Sitaram Yechury and Sharad Yadav also joined the strike along with the BJP.

Trains were stopped in parts of Uttar Pradesh including Mathura, Agra, Varanasi and Allahabad by the protesters who set fire to tyres intending to block the Agra-Gwalior Highway.

In Kolkata, a twelve-hour bandh was called by the Left party, where trains were delayed after they were blocked by the agitators. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had requested the Left not to join the strike as the state which is already burdened with debt cannot afford such strikes.

“On bandh day, the state is forced to incur a loss of Rs. 1737 crore due to which our party have decided to keep away from such strikes three years back,” said Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata.

In Maharashtra owing to Ganesh Utsav, the BJP and the Shiv Sena had said earlier that they might not be joining the  nationwide strike due to the ongoing Ganesh Chathurthi festivities and therefore public transport, malls, supermarkets and other services were in operation as usual. Student attendance in schools and colleges were also not affected.

In Bangalore, a number of IT companies remained closed. Roads and railways were also affected by observing a total bandh all over Karnataka.

In Chennai, though the DMK is an ally of the UPA, it responded to the bandh call as members of the DMK party were seen demonstrating against the price hike. However, the ruling AIADMK did not join the strike, hence most of the essential services remained unaffected.

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