BALASORE: Normal life was paralysed in Balasore on Monday due to Bharat bandh called by Congress and other opposition parties to protest against soaring prices of petrol and diesel. Rail traffic was affected as strike supporters detained trains at Balasore and Jaleswar stations. Hundreds of trucks remained stranded on NH 16 and NH 60. Commuters faced immense hardship due to road and rail blockades. Business establishments, educational institutions and banks were closed while offices witnessed thin attendance.
Congress activists led by former Union Minister Srikant Jena took out a padayatra in the town. “People have spontaneously responded to the bandh call and it is a warning to both the State and Central Governments for their anti-people policies. The bandh was successful,” Jena said.
“While the Centre is not bringing fuel into the GST basket, the State is not slashing the VAT. Instead of reducing price, the Modi Government is adamant and justifying the rise,” Jena added.Among others, OPCC general secretary Sanjiv Giri, DCC president Sarat Raj, State Youth Congress general secretary Tusharkanta Tapaswi and former secretary Debadutta Das participated in the strike.