Visakhapatnam

Bandh evokes tepid response in city

Left party activists forming a human chain in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday.

Left party activists forming a human chain in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday.  

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RTC buses ply without disruption; shopping malls, cinema theatres and markets function as usual

The nationwide bandh call given by the Left and non-BJP parties in protest against the “anti-people policies” of the NDA government evoked a tepid response in the city on Wednesday as the normal life remained unaffected through out the day, barring a few hours in the morning.

Activists owing allegiance to the Left parties and various trade unions and members of bank unions took out rallies and staged rasta rokos at several places in the city. As a precautionary measure, all the government and private schools declared holiday.

RTC buses plied without any interruption in all parts of the district including Visakha Agency, while commercial establishments, cinema theatres, daily markets, shopping malls were remained open.

Anticipating problem, police personnel in huge numbers were deployed at all major junctions, bus stations, railway stations in the city since early morning.

Activists of CPI, CPI(M), AITUC, CITU, and a few other worker unions took out rallies and staged demonstrations at Maddilapalem, RTC Complex, Jagadamba Junction, Saraswati Park, NAD Junction, Gajuwaka and other areas. Left party activists formed a human chain at Maddilapalem Junction.

Extending support to the bandh, several minority organisations took out rallies, carrying effigy of Prime Minister Narrendra Modi. They opposed the National Register of Citizens (NRC) Bill and Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Several trade unions, with the help of minority associations, took out a rally at Jagadamba Junction.

Several CPI and CPI (M) leaders including J.V. Satyanarayana were detained at various police stations. They were released later in the day. The Left parties condemned the arrests.

Meanwhile, unions of auto-rickshaw drivers, street vendors, municipal corporation, RTC contract outsourcing, rented bus drivers, banks and others took part in the protest at several places. Unions from Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP), HPCL and others staged peaceful protests.

Privatisation of PSUs

“After assuming power, the BJP has been amending the laws in favour of the factory managements. PSUs such as ONGC, HPCL, NTPC, Railways, BSNL and others are being proposed for privatisation. The NDA government has failed to control the hike in prices of essential commodities,” said CITU State president Ch. Narsinga Rao while addressing the protesters. B. Ganga Rao, secretary Greater Visakha City Committee of CPI(M) alleged that the Centre had been maintaining silence on the Special Category Status (SCS) or other financial aid to Andhra Pradesh and the State government was also not at all bothered. “The police arrested over 40 activists when the Left parties were staging peaceful protests,” he said.

In response to the call given by Bank Employees’ Federation of India, members of Visakhapatnam Bank Staff Council staged a demonstration in front of the regional office of Union Bank. The protesters demanded minimum wage of ₹21,000 for employees and immediate wage revision in banking industry. They also opposed outsourcing and merger of banks.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 5:20:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/bandh-evokes-tepid-response-in-city/article30517671.ece

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