Ahead of the Bharat Bandh called by the Congress party on Monday, a tug of war was reflected in the northeastern state of Tripura on Sunday. The BJP government has expressed its determination to maintain normalcy during a shutdown but the Congress and Left Front leaders were pulling out all stops to ensure its success in the state.
The `Bharat Bandh` called separately by the Congress and Left parties are in protest against increasing prices of fuel and other essentials besides record fall in the value of Indian rupee against the US dollar.
The Tripura government has ordered all its employees to attend office on Monday and warned of strict action against absentees. Revenue Minister Narendra Chandra Debbarma urged the people to reject the `bandh` and maintain normalcy. He said that panchayat by-election process was on in Tripura.
"Also, preparations are on for Durga Puja. The September 10 strike will severely hamper the bypoll process as well as preparation for the festival," Debbarma said. He asserted that the state government would strongly deal with the situation to ensure normalcy.
A police official said large numbers of central paramilitary and police would be deployed all over Tripura. State-run Tripura Road Transport Corporation has announced special bus services on Monday during the dawn-to-dusk strike.
Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Bijan Dhar said, "The fuel price rise has a cascading all-round inflationary impact, causing further economic slowdown and reducing existing employment."
Tripura Congress leader Birajit Sinha told the media that the Centre was "creating an unprecedented economic crisis in the country and had failed to keep its pre-poll promise of bringing black money from abroad and creating employment".