BHUBANESWAR: In Western Odisha, the Congress used the bandh to make its presence felt in the all-important Sundargarh LS seat. The party workers led by Rourkela District Congress (SDCC) president Rabi Ray, working president Sabir Hussain and former Congress MLA Pravat Mohaptra closed the shops, Central Government offices, fuel filling stations and commercial establishments. Most of the State Government offices were closed for public and employees remained present inside. Utkal Express was stopped at the Rourkela station briefly while commercial vehicles remained off the road.
Hussain described the shutdown a success with spontaneous public support. He said it was an outcome of public anger against the BJP-led Modi Government for the uncontrolled hike in prices of petroleum products due to heavy Central excise duty and all round failure of the Centre. Mohapatra said people were fed up with the Modi Government and it would be thrown out of power in 2019.
In Balangir district, bandh was observed at Kantabanji, Titlagarh and Patnagarh towns.
Congress workers detained Titlagarh-Howrah Ispat Express at Balangir station for more than an hour. The bandh was peaceful in Nuapada, Kalahandi, Jharsuguda and Sonepur districts also.
Life came to a standstill in Sambalpur district as vehicular movement was affected. Hundreds of heavy vehicles were stranded on NH-6 and NH-55 passing through Sambalpur city. This apart, vehicles stopped plying on State Highway 10 and 15. The Congress workers picketed in different parts of the city including Sambalpur railway station. While Sambalpur-Puri Intercity was cancelled, Sambalpur-Rayagada Express left the station at around 7.55 am.