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For the first time, nationwide bandh also affects Meghalaya

Posted in May 2012

Staff Reporter
Shillong, May 31:
In a surprise, the impact of nationwide sponsored bandh called by BJP and trade unions was also felt in Shillong city with shuttered businesses and emptied roads across the state, partially affecting the normal day to day activity on Thursday.
The nationwide bandhs sponsored by non – Congress parties have never had much impact on North East much less on Meghalaya, primarily being the Congress ruled states. But one was surprised to see that the NDA sponsored one day nationwide bandh managed to disrupt normal life with public transport including local taxis staying off the road while only state owned JNNURM buses were seen commuting passengers across the city even as shops in many areas downed their shutters in Shillong city.
The nationwide bandh call against petrol price hike has received an "overwhelming" response in the state that has affected normal life across the country and even evoked mixed response in Congress-led States. However, emergency services, including hospitals and chemist shops remained open.
“All government institutions are functioning normally, markets are open and we are not aware if any of the private institutions have closed on their own," East Khasi Hills district Deputy Commissioner Sanjay Goyal said.
Meanwhile, Road transport was also hit due to the bandh, with commercial vehicles, including private ones, remaining off the road causing inconveniences to people.
Truckers, fearing damage to their vehicles, also did not ply on the national highways of the State in the wake of the bandh call.
Although, there were no major support from any of the NGOs in the State yet the call for bandh by BJP which now holds very little significance in the political spectrum in the State received overwhelming response as it was felt by many that the cause of the call encompassed every one, irrespective of one’s political affiliation.
Many tourists visiting the state were left stranded in their hotel rooms and lodging places as taxis were off the road in most parts of the state.
There were reports of stone pelting in certain areas along the National Highway connecting Guwahati and Silchar through Shillong even as security along the highway has been intensified, a senior government official said.
However, the Meghalaya BJP unit claimed that the shutdown was successful.
"This is the first time that the people in our state (Meghalaya) have supported our protest against the hike in petrol prices. They are upset with the anti-people policies of the Congress-led government at the centre," Meghalaya BJP unit general secretary Dipayan Chakraborty said.
Chakraborty has pointed out if the regional parties are at all concern about the hike of petrol price why do they not ask the Chief Minister of the State to remove the tax on petrol, like Goa. “We agree that Goa is a small state but how large is Meghalaya from Goa” he remarked.


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