RAYAGADA: The call for Bharat Bandh by Congress and Left parties against demonetisation of high value currencies on Monday had negligible impact in different parts of the State.
In Koraput district, all educational institutions, private organisations remained closed during the day but banks and Government offices functioned normally.
Several business establishments and shops in Jeypore, Koraput, Damanjodi and Semiliguda also downed shutters affecting normal life. Public transport was also hit as buses were reportedly plying only on a few routes while heavy vehicles stayed off the roads.
Hundreds of trucks remained stranded on Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh borders throughout the day as a mark of protest. Shouting slogans against demonetisation Congress activists took out protest rallies in Koraput, Jeypore and Borrigumma and submitted a memorandum to State Government through BDOs.
At Jeypore, MLA Taraprasad Bahinipati addressed Congress activists and denounced the ban on old notes. He said, the ban would affect the economy totally of the country. For the first time in 20 days after demonetisation, banks in tribal areas reported low attendance
In Rayagada, District Congress Committee led by president Durga Prasad Panda, party members picketed different banks hampering banking transactions and forcing bank staff to down their shutters.Hundreds of Congress members staged a demonstration in front of main branch of SBI and burnt the effigy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Members of Aam Aadmi Party took out on a motorcycle rally protesting demonetisation. Vehicular movement and train service was normal in the district.
In Sundargarh district, District Congress Committee members took out Aakrosh Rally to protest the ban on ` 500 and `1,000 notes. Led by DCC president Biren Senapati, former Congress MLA Pravat Mohapatra, OPCC secretaries, Sabir Hussain and Ganesh Pradhan, they marched in a procession covering new bus terminal and MS Square.
Later, a protest meeting was held at Bisra Square in front of SBI main branch. Congress leaders claimed the demonitisation was done hastily in an unplanned manner imposing untold miseries on common man. Modi Government is frequently changing rules and testing the patience of people, they said.
On the other hand, a group of CPI members comprising senior leader Pravat Mishra and Sundargarh district secretary of the party Pradosh Mohanty also staged similar protests. No protest was held by the CPM at Rourkela as its local leaderships is at Puri for the National conference. Meanwhile, Rourkela unit BJP spokesperson Ramesh Chandra Bal said, throughout the country the demonitisation decision has evoked overwhelming support for Modi Government. At Rourkela people rejected the Congress’ ‘Aakrosh Rally’ protest and bandh call given by Left Parties, he added.
At Nayagarh, the bandh had no impact on normal life. Collectorate, courts, post offices, business houses and markets functioned as usual. But, private and Government buses stayed off the roads hitting regular commuters the most.
Around 20 Congress activists led by District Congress Committee president Lala Manoj Roy staged a demonstration and held a protest meeting before SBI branch for a brief period even as the bank functioned normally. Other nationalised banks opened in the afternoon. Only a handful of CPM activists were seen moving on bicycles with party flags.