Congress’ Bharat Bandh over fuel price throws normal life out of gear

Bhubaneswar: Normal life in the State was thrown out of gear since early in the morning as the country-wide bandh by the Congress activists protesting fuel price hike began today.

Passengers were seen stranded at Badambadi in Cuttack, Baramunda in Bhubaneswar and other places in the State as buses stayed off roads due to the bandh. Similarly train services were affected in different parts of the State.

“Due to some urgent work I am going to Cuttack. As bus services were disrupted due to the bandh, I have to wait at the Baramunda bus stand. Due to such strike only people are suffering,” said a passenger from Bargarh.

Congress members staged a rail roko at Sambalpur station disrupting rail services. Sambalpur-Puri and Sambalpur-Rayagada Intercity train were halted at the Sambalpur station. Similarly, Howrah-Chennai Superfast was made to halt at Cuttack station while Ispat express at Bolangir station and Howrah-Khurda were stopped at Jaleswar station.

Congress members staged picketing at Badambadi in Cuttack and Soro in Balasore. They also staged road blockade by placing burning tyres at Bhadrak, Angul, Nalco and Bolangir.

In Balasore, members of Congress and Left parties stage picketing jointly as a mark of protest against the fuel price hike. Congress members blocked NH-59 near Baliguda. Vehicular traffic was disrupted on Puri-Bhubaneswar route due to the strike. Protests were held by Congress members in five blocks of Nuapada district.

Also Read: 10 trains cancelled in the wake of Bharat Bandh

Activists of Left parties stage a road blockade at Gunupur bypass in Rayagada extending support to the bandh call.

Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) chief Niranjan Patnaik said, “Congress legislators will not attend the Odisha Assembly today.”

The party, which is observing the shutdown from 6 am to 3 pm in peaceful manner, has decided not to disrput emergency services, he added.

“Congress knows the reason why there is an increase in fuel prices. Spurt in crude oil price in international market and decline in value of rupee against dollar are causing the price hike. We hope that the fuel price will come down soon,” said Suresh Pujari, senior BJP leader.

Tourists at the Konark Sun Temple expressed displeasure as they were unanble to enter the monument after Congress and CPI(M) activists locked up the ticket counter,

Meanwhile, Vice Chancellor of the Biju Patnaik University of Technology (BPUT) cancelled exam scheduled for today in the wake of the Bharat Bandh.

On the other hand, Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay was stopped by Congress members near Teishipur in Pipili due road blockade by Congress activists on NH 316.

Later Congress activists led by OPCC Chief Niranjan Patnaik sat on dharna in front of the main gate of the State Assembly. Several IPS officers including Amitav Thakur and Sunil Roy walked into the Assembly premises as their vehicles were stopped by the protestors