The call for nationwide bandh on Thursday has not gone down well with the people. Although some supported the cause, a majority of them did not think that it would have any impact on the ruling party – particularly with regard to its decision to limit the subsidised domestic LPG cylinder numbers per year to six. They do not think that the price of diesel would be rolled back.

The bandh was called by a majority of the non-UPA parties in protest against the increase in diesel price, cap on the subsidised domestic LPG cylinders, and allowing foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail sector.

“The parties, which have given the call, are not concerned about problems we are facing. They are just exploiting our emotions for their own political means,” said S. Lokesh, a resident of Udupi.

‘Income matters’

Prakash B., an autorickshaw driver, said people like him were more worried of the income they generate each day. “We have to keep our vehicles running in order to earn income to pay the loan instalment each day. We cannot keep our vehicles idle, even if it concerns price rise. At the end of the day, what matters is what we earn,” he said. Prices of fuel as well as domestic LPG cylinders had been going up regardless of protest, said another autorickshaw driver K. Ramesh.

Ganesh Shenoy expressed his displeasure over the frequent increase in the prices of fuel. “In other countries, the prices are increased only after a specified number of months,” he said.

Surendra Kini, a retired bank employee, wondered whether the bandh would lead to a change of guard at the Centre. “I hope the new party will overturn decisions of the United Progressive Alliance Government. But having seen the earlier governments, I do not see the new government taking decision to reduce prices. We have to bear with the hikes in the prices of petrol and diesel,” Mr. Shenoy says

Keywords: Bharat bandh

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