Ahmedabad: Gujarat Congress gave a call for a statewide bandh on January 10, barring four cities, to protest against the Vibrant Gujarat Summit, saying that the state government is wasting tax payers' money at a time when farmers are suffering due to low minimum support price (MSP).
"We had asked for permission to protest against the Vibrant Gujarat Summit during three days of the summit from January 11, but we were denied permission yesterday," Gujarat state unit Congress chief Arjun Modhvadia said.
"We have given a call for a Gujarat bandh on January 10, but have spared the four major cities of Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot and Vadodara from it. All the villages, towns and small cities will join the bandh," Modhvadia said.
"The reason why we have spared the four cities is because many NRIs who have come here to take part in the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, would be stranded," he said.
Modhvadia also said that the Congress has supported the call of various farmers' bodies to take a march to the venue of the Vibrant Gujarat Summit in Gandhinagar on January 11.
Some farmers organisations protesting against low MSP for cotton and groundnut have called for a march on the very first day of the Vibrant Gujarat Summit.
He said that the Congress would protest against the Vibrant Gujarat Summit in front of Gandhi Ashram on January 12 and January 13, despite denial of permission.
"On one hand the Gujarat government spends crores of rupees on Pravasi Bharatiya Divas and Vibrant Gujarat Summit, and on the other hand, common people like farmers commit suicides because they do not get good prices for the crop they produce," Modhvadia said.
"We are appalled by the heartless attitude of the Gujarat state government towards farmers. Corruption has become a major issue in the state now," Modhvadia alleged.
Leader of the Congress Legislative Party Shankarsinh Vaghela said that the Gujarat state government has covered the roadside slum areas by erecting partitions made of big green cloth, closed several main roads for commuters, closed schools in the vicinity of the event's venue and disallowed street vendors in the city.
Instead of protecting people, the police is only protecting VIPs, he said.
"The state's law and order situation has deteriorated and the state's crime rate has increased tremendously," Vaghela said.
"They claim that they neutralised a boat of suspected terrorists. If terrorists killed themselves by setting their vessel on fire, where are their bodies? This is a bogus claim," Vaghela alleged.