Bangalore: Normal life was affected in Karnataka on Thursday following the call for nation-wide shutdown to oppose the diesel price hike, cap on subsidised cooking gas cylinders and allow foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail. Many IT firms declared a holiday. Buses were off the roads, majority of schools, colleges and market places were shut, many IT firms declared a holiday due to the shutdown. Attendance in government offices, banks and private firms was thin.
With Karnataka being ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is one of the parties that has called for a day's 'Bharat Bandh', response to the shutdown was good. Hundreds of train passengers who arrived in Bangalore from different parts of the country were stranded at the three railway stations with no buses and very few autorickshaws and taxis. Those managed to get the auto or cab were fleeced. Cinema houses also declared a holiday.
Reports from major educational and commercial towns like Mysore, Mangalore, Hubli, Shimoga, Davangere said normal life was disrupted with markets, schools and colleges shut and buses off the roads. A spokesman for the state road transport corporation told reporters in Bangalore that buses in the capital and intra and inter-state services were not being run as there were no passengers at the bus stands.
"There is hardly any passenger in the main city and intra and inter-state bus stand near Kempegowda Circle in city centre. Similar was the case at other major stands like Shantinagar in central Bangalore, Jayanagar in south, Yeshwantpur in north and Vijayanagar in west," he said.
At several places in Bangalore and major towns in the state, the BJP workers took out two-wheeler rallies.