Muted response to Bharat Bandh in Telangana

Friday, February 26th, 2021, 04:26:39 PM IST

Protests at few places by the Left parties and trade unions affiliated to them in Telangana marked the ‘Bharat Bandh’ to protest against the fuel price hike.

The shutdown call given by All India Traders’ Association evoked poor response in the state. Few shops and business establishments downed shutters in parts of Hyderabad and some other towns.

The bandh had no major impact on normal life. Good transport activity, however, came to a halt as the truck owners’ association joined the shutdown.

As the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) backed the shutdown, the truckers in the state joined too the protest demanding some relief from the Centre.

Protesting the steep hike in price of diesel, Telangana Lorry Owners Association supported the bandh call.

The association claimed that nearly one lakh transport vehicles will remain off roads during the day.

They demanded that the Central taxes on diesel be slashed to ensure uniformity in the price across the country.

Truck operators have threatened to launch indefinite strikes if the Centre failed to respond positively to their demands.

A section of traders including Kirana merchants and steel merchants in Hyderabad took out a rally to the Collector’s office to submit a memorandum of demands.

They demanded the authorities to simplify GST process. The traders alleged that several new clauses and rules were being used to harass them.

Left parties and trade unions affiliated to organised protests in Hyderabad. CPI state secretary Chada Venkat Reddy led the protest. He demanded that the fuel prices should be uniform across the country and GST should be simplified.

CPI-M also backed the bandh call. The party organized a dharna at LB Nagar crossroads in Hyderabad. The protestors alleged that the steep hike in prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas has made the life of common man miserable.

Holding banners and placards denouncing the price hike, the protestors raised slogans against the government. Police detained the protestors and shifted them to a police station.

Party’s state secretary T. Veerabhadram said the hike in fuel prices has imposed heavy burden on common man. He said taxes on fuel were adding the burden. The CPI-M leader demanded that the Centre and states take initiative to cut the taxes to provide some relief to people.

—-IANS