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Maharashtra bandh over Lakhimpur violence: Transport, businesses impacted; BJP flags ‘hypocrisy’

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Mumbai: The statewide bandh called by Maha Vikas Aghadi affected road transport services and businesses in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra on Monday (October 11).

The leaders of three ruling parties – Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP – staged protests against the Lakhmipur Kheri violence in which eight people were killed.

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut claimed the bandh was “100 per cent successful”.

Maharashtra Water Resources Minister and NCP leader Jayant Patil said the bandh and the state government had no connection with the protest, which was called by the ruling parties. Essential services were not impacted, he said.

However, the opposition BJP claimed it was a state government-sponsored bandh that was unwarranted.

Former Chief Minister and Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis said that the MVAs concern for farmers was “pure hypocrisy” and claimed that the band was imposed using official machinery.

“If the MVA government is so concerned about farmers, then it should first provide relief to those affected due to unseasonal rains in the state’s Vidarbha and Marathwada regions,” said Fadnavis.

“Some 2,000 farmers have committed suicide in the state, and they have neither got loan waiver nor any kind of assistance from the state government,” he added.

People are being forced to observe the bandh using police and administration, he claimed.

“First time in history of independent India, those who have the responsibility of running law and order decide in the cabinet meeting for bandh. Earlier SC and Bombay HC had banned such bandhs and fined Shiv Sena. We demand that HC takes cognizance of it,” said Fadnavis.

He further said that the Uttar Pradesh government is capable of taking action against those guilty in the Lakhmipur Kheri incident.

In Mumbai, buses of the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST- the transport undertaking of the city civic body) and many of the traditional ‘black-yellow cabs’ remained off roads, which led to huge crowds on suburban railway stations to commute by local trains, which were running as per schedule.

BEST said that eight of its buses were vandalised in different areas of Mumbai between midnight and 8 am today.

Shops and other commercial establishments, barring those engaged in selling essential items, remained closed in Mumbai.

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