The Pradesh Congress Committee has decided to go ahead with the proposed bandh on Saturday, turning down Union Minister Narayanasamy’s request to call it off and observe a fast, instead.
The bandh has been called to protest against the poor maintenance of law and order and to seek the arrest of the culprits involved in planting of a powerful bomb in a car parked in front of the Union Minister’s residence.
However, the duration of the bandh had been reduced and it would now be observed from 6 am to 4 pm in view of the marriage season, Leader of the Opposition V Vaithilingam announced at a press conference here.
The Congress was not politicising the issue, said Vaithilingam, adding that it had not been organised for the cause of any individual, but for the common man, as there was a threat to public safety.He pointed out that ever since the All India N R Congress (AINRC) came to power in the Union Territory, the Congress had not sponsored any bandh.
But now, for the first time in Puducherry, such a powerful bomb has been recovered, which led to the suspicion on the involvement of some external forces. “The incident shows that some evil forces have intruded into Puducherry and the bomb threat is a beginning. It should be nipped in the bud, else it will spread in different forms,” he said.
The people of Puducherry should therefore support the bandh, he said. Vaithilingam said Congress had approached all the political parties, including ruling AINRC and the BJP, to support the bandh since it was for the public. Some parties extended their support, while some were yet to respond, he said. PCC volunteers went around town apprising the trade and business community besides public transport vehicle operators of the bandh and its purpose.