JD-S backs Bharat Bandh call by Congress
Bengaluru : As an ally, Karnataka's ruling Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) will support the day-long all-India shutdown (Bharat Bandh) call of the Congress for Monday in the state, it was announced on Sunday.
"Our party has decided to support the Congress call in protest against the steep hike in fuel prices and other anti-people policies of the NDA-led government," a JD-S official told IANS here.
As the JD-S-Congress coalition government cannot officially associate with the shutdown, the party has agreed to join the Congress in protests and participate in rallies to be staged in cities and towns across the state.
"Party leaders and cadres will assemble on Monday at the Town Hall in the city centre and in all the district headquarters against the fuel price hike and weakening of the rupee against the US dollar," said the official.
The alliance partners will also protest against the misuse of the CBI, Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax office against opposition leaders.
Former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda will join other opposition leaders at a protest rally and meeting in New Delhi.
In view of the dawn-to-dusk shutdown call, the police have tightened security across the state, especially in Bengaluru, deployed additional forces in sensitive areas and stepped up vigil at vital installations.
"Peaceful protests, demonstrations and rallies will be allowed but action will be taken against those indulging in violence," a senior police officer told IANS.
Thanking the JD-S for support, Congress state unit president Dinesh Gundu Rao said the shutdown would be complete as other parties, trade unions and many associations and organisations had agreed to join the protest.
"Besides pro-Kannada organisations, trade unions and associations of buses, taxis and autos, worst-affected by the fuel price hike, are supporting our call," Rao told reporters here.
The party has exempted essential services like milk and water supply, medical shops, hospitals, metro and small vendors from shutdown.