PUDUCHERRY: The bandh in Puducherry, called by the opposition Congress, DMK, and their allies, to protest against alleged irregularities in conducting the local body polls, affected normal life in the Union Territory on Monday. Shops and businesses remained shut, while private buses, auto rickshaws, and vehicles, barring government buses, stayed off the roads.
The Puducherry Chamber of Commerce, which had objected to the polls being held during the festive season, also supported the bandh. The Congress, DMK, left parties and VCK, among others, objected to the AINRC-BJP government rescinding the notification granting reservation to BCs and STs, and the State Election Commission’s decision to conduct the polls without reservation for BCs and SCs.
They also objected to the rotational pattern in reservation of seats not being followed. They wanted BC and ST reservations to be provided and other reservations set right, and sought for the polls to be postponed. They further wanted the removal of the State Election Commissioner (SEC), whom they said is acting unilaterally. Former CM V Narayanasamy and Puducherry Pradesh Congress Committee president AV Subramanian participated in the protest.