Most vehicles stay off the road in West Bengal, Kerala
Opposition parties on Saturday hit the streets in many States enforcing strikes in Kerala, Orissa and West Bengal, in protest against the government's decision to hike fuel prices and warned of more agitation unless there was a rollback.
Protests were also staged in Andhra Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh among other states.
In Mumbai, senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde led an agitation of party workers protesting the price hike. The BJP also staged protests in Jammu and Kashmir and Chandigarh.
In Orissa, BJD, BJP, NCP and CPI members sought a resolution on the price hike in the assembly.
The BJP hit the streets in Uttar Pradesh to protest the hike. In Lucknow, after a dharna, party leaders and workers attempted to march towards Vidhan Bhavan, but were intercepted by the police. Agitated party workers attempted to break the cordon and march towards the Vidhan Bhavan, forcing the police to use water cannons.
Raktima Bose reports from Kolkata:
The city wore a deserted look on Saturday as public vehicles went off the road in response to a 24-hour-long transport strike called by the Centre of Indian Trade Unions, the labour arm of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), in protest against the hike.
Most of the buses, taxi and auto-rickshaws stayed off the road, here and in the districts, forcing the daily commuters to either walk to their destinations or pay extra fare demanded by the few taxis and auto-rickshaws that plied. Being a weekend many offices were anyway closed.
Normal life hit
Thiruvananthapuram Special Correspondent reports:
The 12-hour hartal called by the ruling Left Democratic Front in protest against the fuel price hike brought life to a halt in Kerala on Saturday. There was no major incident. Public carriages stayed off the road and most government offices and private establishments had a virtual holiday. All major markets and educational institutions remained closed.