Traffic disrupted in the morning; many shops opened in the afternoon
The “Bharat Bandh” call given by the NDA, Left and UPA supporters like Samajwadi Party evoked a mixed response in the Capital with markets in Karol Bagh, Chandni Chowk, Sadar Bazar and Paharganj remaining closed, while shops in Connaught Place, Bhogal, Laxmi Nagar, Defence Colony and South Extension opening as the day progressed.
Traffic was disrupted at several place in the morning as hundreds of political workers descended on the streets. Even though buses and private vehicles plied on the roads, daily commuters had a tough time as a large number of auto-rickshaw kept off the roads during the early hours of the day. Traffic was disrupted at Lado Sarai, MB Road, Sai Baba Chowk, Rohini and Janakpuri. Vehicular movement was also affected at Nizamuddin-Ring Road, Tigri Khanpur, Apsara Border, Sindhu Border, Burari Chowk, Khajuri Chowk, Prashant Vihar and Paschim Vihar due to the protest.
Even though the Delhi Metro officials said their services were on schedule, BJP supporters entered metro stations in Rajiv Chowk, Karol Bagh, Tilak Nagar, Janakpuri West and Uttam Nagar stations posing as passengers and shouted slogans.
While government-run schools, colleges, offices and banks functioned normally, private schools, shops and businesses establishments were shut in many areas.
The Delhi unit of the BJP claimed that the bandh was a “historic success” and had the “popular support” of the citizens. “On the call of the BJP for Bharat Bandh on Thursday, the people of Delhi observed unprecedented and historical Delhi Mahabandh. More than 50,000 workers of BJP came out on the streets and made the Mahabandh a complete success,” claimed State BJP chief Vijender Gupta.
On the other hand, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit rejected the BJP claim and said the bandh had no impact on life in the city. “I am happy to say that Delhiites are mature enough to understand the negative impact of bandh. They have completely rejected the bandh. Their attitude has remained constructive. They keep themselves aloof from the efforts of political parties to derive political mileage out of any non-issue,” Ms. Dikshit added.
Hundreds of BJP workers courted arrest at different places in the Capital.