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BJP claims unprecedented support to strike

The roads wore a deserted look and commuters who dared to come on road were stuck in the traffic jam for hours on Thursday morning due to Bharat bandh organised by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Left parties in the capital to protest the recent hike in the petrol price.

In Delhi the bandh had a local dimension too - imposition of 5 per cent VAT on CNG. The protesters hit the road early in the morning and jammed traffic at several places in the city.

'Bharat Bandh was a complete success. The market associations and traders joined us to protest against steep hike in petrol and CNG price,' said Vijender Gupta, Delhi Pradesh president of BJP. Gupta hit the road at around 6.30 am and reached near Nangloi railway station at around 7.30 am.

In east Delhi, the protest was lead by senior BJP leaders Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Sanjay Joshi. BJP workers blocked the NH-24 in front of Akshardham temple preventing the flow of traffic from Ghaziabad and Noida into Delhi. The traffic, which started 9.30 am, stalled till 11.30 am when the police intervened.

'The bandh shows the public anger against this government. This will be the last nail in its coffin,' said the BJP's national vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi. The jams were also reported from several other intersections and markets of the city.

'We shut down our shops in protest,' said Dinesh Gaur, president of Palika Bazaar Market Association. Major markets in Chandni Chowk, Sadar Bazar, Laxmi Nagar, Lajpat Nagar, Sarojini Nagar, Defence Colony, Khan Market and Connaught Place remained closed, though by evening hours some shops were opened.

BJP workers also deflated tyres of over 100 state run DTC buses at several places in the city. The DTC buses were plying in the city, but were not so crowded like other working day.

Despite the threat of permit cancellation, auto and taxi unions in the city also joined in the protest. 'The bandh was successful and we have expressed our anger against the price hike of CNG. The government must roll it back,' said Rajinder Soni of Delhi Private Transporters Mazdoor Mahasangh. The commuters have to face problems several places due to less availability of autos in the city.


BANDH THROWS CITY OUT OF GEAR

Since morning, protestors spilling on the roads with banners in their hands threw life in the city completely out of gear. At some places, roads remained blocked for several hours. The most affected areas were Shastri Park, Shakarpur and Nand Nagri, where roads were blocked till afternoon. Protestors stopped a bus at Vikas Marg, which led a heavy traffic jam. Janakpuri, Chandni Chowk, Najafgarh, Shalimar Bagh and Badarpur areas also remained affected due to demonstrations. At some places, protestors tried to stop trains but they were detained by the police. Kriarari railway track was blocked.
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