Mumbai: The nation-wide bandh called by the BJP-led NDA and other Opposition parties to protest fuel hike and FDI in retail evoked little response in the metropolis on Thursday owing to Ganesh festivities across Maharashtra.
The Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) have kept away from the day-long bandh due to the festival. BJP leaders including Deputy Leader in Lok Sabha Gopinath Munde and Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Legislative Council Vinod Tawade will take to the streets later in the day to oppose Government's new reform measures.
Last week, the government had hiked the price of diesel by Rs 5 per litre, capped the supply of subsidised liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders to six per household and cleared 51 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail.
Taxis, auto rickshaws and BEST buses were seen plying on the roads since morning even though few have stayed away fearing violence. Trains are also running on schedule both on Central and Western line.
Commercial establishments and markets in the city are expected to open later in the day. The immersion of Ganesh idols installed for a day-and-a half in homes across the state will take place on Thursday evening. Police have stepped up the security in the city and suburbs to ward off any untoward incident.
Meanwhile, apex transporters' body All India Motor Transport Congress is also on a 24-hour token strike against diesel price hike, demanding a rollback. "All the trucks are off the roads since midnight and the strike is complete," claimed AIMTC President Malkit Singh. Of the 75 lakh trucks across the country, Maharashtra alone accounts for 23 lakhs.