Bharat Bandh: MNS supports, Shiv Sena stays out

Sep 10, 2018, 07:25 IST | Team mid day

Though MNS, Congress has promised peaceful protests today, Mumbai cops are not taking any chances

Bharat Bandh: MNS supports, Shiv Sena stays out
The bandh has been called to protest rising fuel prices. Representational Image

Mumbai is going to be subjected to yet another 'bandh' on Monday, this time to protest rising petrol and diesel prices. The bandh, called by several political parties, is likely to affect Mumbaikars' lives too, with the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) and the Congress planning demonstrations and rasta rokos across the city, from Dadar to Dahisar.

While MNS chief Raj Thackeray declared support for the bandh through a statement on Twitter, his party's spokesperson Sandeep Deshpande told mid-day that it was called for the welfare of citizens. "We are planning demonstrations and rasta rokos in areas such as Dadar, Borivli, etc. We appeal to Mumbaikars to stay at home to participate in the bandh as it is for the greater good of the society," said Deshpande.

In his statement, Thackeray also appealed to his party workers to ensure that the bandh is successfully implemented. He added, "However, while doing so, they should ensure no public property is damaged and the common man doesn't suffer."

The protests might make life even more difficult for the common man, considering MNS and Congress are planning on holding demonstrations and rasta rokos from Dadar to Dahisar. Pic/Sameer Markande
The protests might make life even more difficult for the common man, considering MNS and Congress are planning on holding demonstrations and rasta rokos from Dadar to Dahisar. Pic/Sameer Markande

Apolitical?
Meanwhile, Congress Mumbai president, Sanjay Nirupam said, "We appeal to Mumbaikars to voluntarily support the bandh as this has no political purpose attached to it. This is to save the nation. Be it fuel prices or LPG costs, everything is going out of control. It is time to shake this government, which is not only over-confident and arrogant, but has also made life difficult for the common man."

The protests might make life even more difficult for the common man, considering MNS and Congress are planning on holding demonstrations and rasta rokos from Dadar to Dahisar, with MNS concentrating theirs in Dadar, Borivli and Kandivli. Navi Mumbai MNS leader Gajanan Kale said, "We'll start our protest from 10 am and request all shopkeepers to keep their shops shut. Also, we will hold a 2-km cycle rally from Vashi station. We'll stage a powerful protest against the Modi government."

Cong's 'chakka jam'
As for the Congress, they will start their protests from a meeting at Agarkar Chowk in Andheri at 8 am, from where party workers have planned a 'chakka jam' in Andheri East. Similar demonstrations have been planned in areas such as Govandi, Chembur, Dadar, Worli Naka, Borivli and Dahisar.

The police are ready for the bandh too. Speaking to mid-day DCP Manjunath Singhe said, "We've alerted all police stations and asked them to keep adequate bandobast to avoid any untoward incident. We have our reserve force ready to address any situation. If needed, we can rope in other forces to handle the situation. We've asked all the parties to maintain peace during the protests. Citizens shouldn't believe in rumors and if they come across any information, they must get verified from authorised sources."

Support in Pune
In Pune, the bandh promises to be peaceful. Congress Pune city president Ramesh Bagwe said, "We've held meetings with people from various business associations and appealed to them to support us by keeping their shops closed and co-operating with us between 9 am to 3 pm. The agitation will be carried out peacefully."

Pune city commissioner K Venkatesham said, "If people are voluntary keeping their shops and businesses closed, we have no objection, but we appeal to citizens to not be forced into doing so. No illegal [act] or violence will be tolerated. We've prepared for the bandh."

No support
However, not everyone is supporting the bandh. Auto and taxi union leader Shashank Rao said, "We have officially not declared any support or opposition for the bandh called on Monday. While rickshaws and taxis will run, it would be the drivers' and owners' decision to remain off roads considering local conditions, if they fear any violence."

Schools and colleges have not declared a holiday, and the School Bus Owners' Association (SBOA) has said it will run buses. Anil Garg, president, SBOA, said, "As we have already increased the fee by Rs 75 per month considering the rising fuel prices, we're not declaring any strike on Monday. It is up to the parents to raise their voice and join the bandh."

Sena says nah
The Shiv Sena spurned Congress' request to participate in the bandh. Sena MP Sanjay Raut said his party won't participate in the bandh. "The Opposition should show their unity. The Sena is looking at the bandh neutrally," he said.

Also Read: AAP won't join Bharat Bandh

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