The nation-wide bandh called for by the Congress party was successful across Karnataka. But the irony is, a bandh called ostensibly for the common man also burdened the public in many instances. Cases of protestors shutting down shops forcefully, stone pelting on hotels and buses, ambulances stuck in traffic jams and the face-off between the protesters and others took the attention away from the main cause for which the protests were organized.
Congress workers in Udupi district took law into their own hands and went on to forcefully down the shutters of many establishments. In another incident, Congress workers and some members of a Hindu outfit got into a heated argument which led to some sloganeering in favor of PM Modi. Police intervened and brokered peace between both the groups.
Demonstrations were held across all the districts of Karnataka with the exception of Kodagu. Miscreants pelted stones at a hotel and bus in Mangaluru district. In Bidar, Congress workers had a spat with policemen while forcefully asking establishments to shut down.
Back in Bengaluru over five hundred Congress workers gathered at Mysore Bank circle and protested against the center. The show of strength, however, left many bikers and commuters stranded for hours. There were reports of two ambulances stuck in the traffic pile up. Reportedly, ambulances were stuck for a good 15 minutes, it was only after the intervention of the traffic police the ambulances were allowed to proceed.
In a deviation from the norm, a sitting minister of the state cabinet, Karnataka food, and civil supplies minister Zameer Ahmed joined the protests at Mysore Bank circle. He shared the dias with KPCC chief and other Congress MLAs. Also, Congress MLA NA Haris' son Mohammed Nalapad accompanied his father and shared the dias with others in the protest. He, however, was expelled from KPCC for 6 years by the then KPCC chief G Parameshwara for his involvement in an assault case. Protests will continue till fuel prices are not decreased: Eshwar Khandre, KPCC working president.
Speaking exclusively to Republic Tv on the Bharat Bandh, KPCC working president Eshwar Khandre slammed the center for the increase in fuel prices. When asked if the Karnataka government would cut VAT on petrol and diesel, he shifted the onus on the center. It was only recently that the Karnataka government led by HD Kumaraswamy increased the tax rate on petrol from 30 to 32 percent and diesel from 19 to 21 percent. Although the bandh did not make any difference to the common man, the Congress party managed to put up a decent show in the state.