Chennai: The bandh called by NDA and Left parties against the Centre's decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retail and hike in diesel prices evoked a mixed response in Tamil Nadu on Thursday.
No untoward incident was reported so far from across the state and the protest was so far peaceful, police said. Government-run buses were on the road.
However, autos affiliated to Left unions kept off the road even as a large number of commercial establishments and shops downed their shutters to join the protest. Schools and educational institutions remained open and it was business as usual with government departments.
The strike had little impact on airport operations as morning flights, both international and domestic numbering around 51 (till 10 am), departed and arrived on time. A majority of the 3000-odd vegetable shops at the Koyambedu wholesale market remained closed, a representative of the vendors' association said.
DMK, a key constituent in the Congress-led UPA coalition at the Centre, had expressed its support with its labour wing, Labour Progressive Front, participating in Thursday's protest.
Party chief M Karunanidhi had blamed the Centre for further burdening the common man, who was already reeling under the impact of hike in power tariff, bus fares and milk prices effected by the Jayalalithaa government. He had asked his party members to extend "full co-operation" for the protest in a "peaceful" and "successful manner".
Meanwhile, a report from Puducherry said the bandh was near total in the Union Territory. While private buses and autos went off the roads, government-run buses operated under convoy system. All shops and business establishments remained closed.
Government schools functioned with less attendance of students and private schools remained closed. Attendance in government offices was normal, official sources said.