Dilip Kumar

Jajpur: Hundreds of candidates who came from outside Odisha to appear the Railway Recruitment Board (RRB) examinations at a centre near Cuttack were left stranded on NH-16 near Jaraka in the district as Congress workers blocked the road as a part of the State-wide strike to protest the steep hike in prices of fuel and other essential commodities, on Monday.

Candidates from Bihar and West Bengal, who were scheduled to attend the RRB exams at Phulnakhara in Cuttack district managed to reach Jaraka by buses in the morning. However, they could not proceed further as the busses were stranded and lined up on the NH due to road blockade.

The peeved candidates said that they were caught unawares as they were unaware of the bandh call given by the Congress party in Odisha.

"We did not know about the bandh. We reached Jajpur district with much difficulty by changing multiple vehicles," said Yadav Pradhan, a candidate.

"The second sitting of the exam at the centre at Phulnakhra in Cuttack will begin at 1.30 pm. If we are allowed proceed to the centre we would reach there by 1 pm. We had boarded the bus last evening (Sunday) at around 8 pm. Till that time we had no information about the bandh," said Suman Das, another aspirant.

Das alleged that the bandh had deprived candidates of the exams which were held after a gap of three years. “The government should take measures and make alternative arrangements for the candidates to attend the test,” he said.