Bharat Bandh: MP congress call successfully, BJP dubs it anarchic
The Congress' Bharat bandh Monday against rising fuel prices and depreciation of the rupee saw party workers in Madhya Pradesh carry out rallies and hold protests outside commercial establishments and fuel pumps that were open.
In Bhopal, a flower shop owned by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's son Kartikey was at the centre of a protest by Congress workers. The shop, situated in Ravishankar Market here, late downed shutters following the protest, said Madhya Pradesh Congress spokesperson Pankaj Chaturvedi. Several Congress leaders led rallies asking people and shopkeepers to participate in the shutdown and there were also reports of party workers trying to forcibly shut fuel pumps and other commercial establishments in Ujjain.
One such attempt outside a petrol pump in Ujjain's Chimanganj area led to a scuffle between Congress workers and police, an official said. Chimanganj Police Station in-charge Arvind Tomar said that protesters set aside barricades put up at petrol pumps but were driven away by police. The Congress claimed that the bandh got full support of the people of Jhabua. "We have got full support from the people. Shopkeepers kept their establishments closed so did petrol pump owners. Local MP Kantilal Bhuria led a rally with a bullock cart in the front," informed Jhabua district Congress president Nirmal Mehta.
Jhabua Superintendent of Police Mahesh Jain said that no untoward incident was reported from the district, adding that Congress workers staged protests and submitted memorandums in some places in the district. In a symbolic protest in Jabalpur, Congress workers set ablaze a junk car, said Congress leader Dinesh Yadav. Madhya Pradesh Congress spokesperson Pankaj Chaturvedi claimed that people had voluntarily supported the bandh since they were suffering due to inflation and high fuel prices.
"People on their own are supporting the bandh. It has been successful in most parts of the state. Most of the markets in Bhopal and Indore remained shut. Our leaders took out rallies across the state," Chaturvedi said.
The BJP, meanwhile, called the Congress' behaviour during the bandh as "anarchic" and "naxal like". "The Congress adopted anarchic and violent ways to intimidate people. Despite the opposition's efforts, the bandh failed. The Congress is desperate to get back in power using violence, which is naxal-like thinking," claimed state BJP spokesperson Rajnish Agrawal.