Bharat Bandh: Holiday for schools, colleges in Mysuru; normal life in city likely to be affected


Mysuru: The news of petrol prices crossing the dreaded Rs 80-mark in the national capital made everyone across the country sit up, and understand the gravity of the crisis surrounding the steep rise in in the past few days. The ‘Bharat Bandh’ call for Monday issued by the to protest the spiraling fuel prices is likely to receive widespread response across Karnataka, where the party is part of the ruling alliance with the JD(S).
The district administration, meanwhile, has declared a holiday for and on Monday.

The JD(S) has extended its support for the bandh call, and it is expected that normal life in South Karnataka, where both parties enjoy a considerable following, will be affected to a significant extent. In Mysuru, the JD(S) and 33 public organisations, including trade unions, have extended their support for the bandh. Consequently, normal life in the district is expected to be hit. However, with the city unit of the making its opposition to the bandh stance clear, some of the business establishments in Mysuru have stated that they will not shut their shops, and perhaps even keep it open for an our longer than usual.

In a bid to prevent untoward incidents, Mysuru city police commissioner A Subramanyeshwar Rao said that security had been heightened. As many as four platoons of Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP), and five units of City Armed Reserve (CAR) have been deployed. “Police personnel will patrol areas identified as sensitive, and miscreants will be detained,” said Rao.

Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) Mysuru city division controller KH Srinivas said that they would decide on plying buses on Monday based on the situation. “If there is tension, we will cancel operations immediately,” said Srinivas.

On the other hand, KSRTC rural division controller M Vasu said that as many as 700 buses would ply on 650 routes from the seven depots across the division. “KSRTC buses make as many as 2,250 trips on a daily basis in rural areas, and the department earns an income of Rs 70 to Rs 80 lakh per day. We will operate buses in the morning, and decide on whether or not to continue based on the situation,” said Vasu.

Congress steps up efforts to ensure bandh’s success

Mysuru City Congress Committee chief R Murthy has, meanwhile, assigned key areas and localities to key leaders, and instructed them to ensure that the bandh is a success in the city.

Former minister and Narasimharaja (NR) MLA Tanveer Sait, and convener of the Association of Concerned and Informed Citizens of Mysore, and Congress member M Lakshman have been entrusted the responsibility of ensuring the shutting down of the two busiest thoroughfares of the ‘Heritage City’ – Sayyaji Rao Road and Ashoka Road. Former Chamaraja MLA M Vasu has been asked to ensure that RMC markets remain closed on Monday.

Former Krishnaraja MLA MK Somashekar, meanwhile, has been told to ensure that KSRTC buses do not ply the city streets, while former MP Vijayashankar is in charge of shutting down the bus depots.

Congress Seva Dal leader Girish will tour the city’s streets, announcing the bandh, and explaining the reasons behind it. Murthy has asked Congress workers to assemble at the Kote Anjaneya temple from 6am to 10.30am, where a public rally will be held.

Mysuru District Congress Committee has similarly asked its workers to work towards ensuring a complete lockdown across the eight assembly constituencies.

All India Congress Committee (AICC) secretary PC Vishnunath on Sunday said that the party had called for the taking into cognisance the troubles the people were facing owing to the rise in fuel prices.

“Fuel prices are increasing on a daily basis. The BJP has looted Rs 11 lakh crore under the guise of fuel tax from the public. Crude oil prices were at an all-time high in the international market during UPA rule, but the fuel prices remained low. But Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government has failed to reduce central taxes on fuel despite crude oil prices dropping on the international market. Central taxes on fuel must be reduced to alleviate the woes of the common man,” said Vishnunath, adding that other ‘foolish’ policies such as demonetisation had hurt the public.

Cab association to support call

Of the 33 associations supporting the Congress’ bandh call are the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist), SUCI, Dr Rajkumar Abhimanigala Sangha and Lorry Owners’ Association, said Vasu.

Meanwhile, Hotel Owners’ Association president C Narayanagowda told TOI that hotels, lodges and restaurants would remain open in order to ensure that tourists were not inconvenienced. “But, morally, we support the bandh,” he added.

Cab Drivers and Owners’ Association’s treasurer Srinivasa said, “We will support the bandh. We have informed cab drivers through social media platforms such as WhatsApp that we will show solidarity with those who have called for the bandh to protest rising fuel prices.”

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