The nationwide bandh called by Left and Right wing parties to protest recent hike in petrol prices garnered mixed response across the country.
However, traders’ bodies in the Capital maintained that more than five crore merchants in the country supported the bandh and had downed their shutters for the day.
“As per an estimate, retail business worth Rs 6,000 crore was affected, which resulted to a loss of about Rs 800 crore to the government through indirect taxes,” said Praveen Khandelwal, general secretary, Confederation of All India Traders.
Drama in Delhi
BJP workers blocked important roads in the morning, thereby throwing the traffic out of gear. Office goers had a tough time, as more than 55,000 auto rickshaws and around 15,000 taxis stayed off the roads.
Senior BJP leaders Ananth Kumar and Vijay Goel courted arrest in Chandni Chowk, while Sanjay Joshi and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi were detained near Akshardham temple. Left leaders Prakash Karat, AB Bardhan, Sitaram Yechury and D Raja, along with several supporters, courted arrest in Old Delhi.
Terming the bandh as successful, BJP president Nitin Gadkari said, “The people, in one voice, have demanded complete rollback of hiked petrol prices. It’s clear message to the Congress party that if it doesn’t roll back the hike, we will roll the party back.”