No bandh, but only aakrosh; Life normal in TS
Hyderabad: There was no bandh but only Aakrosh over the cash crisis following demonetization as the action plan of the non-BJP political parties to corner the Central Government, especially Prime Minister Narendra Modi, boomeranged and did not affect normal life in Telangana State, including Hyderabad, on Monday.
In fact, there was utter confusion among the non-BJP parties with regard to Monday’s agitation programme. Though a call for Bharath Bandh has been given by the Left parties and supported by others, some of them dissociated with the bandh and decided only to express their anger (aakrosh) over the sufferings of the people after demonetization. Thus, with various non-BJP parties in a disarray over the action programme, there were rallies, dharnas and protest meetings in some places while in the Left-dominated areas a few shops remained shut, mainly out of fear of damage to their properties.
As usual, the Congress party in Telangana, in tune with the stance taken by the party’s Delhi bosses, observed “Aakrosh Diwas” in many parts of Telangana, including the capital city, by organizing dharnas and sit-ins before the banks. Senior Telangana Congress leaders, led by party chief Uttam Kumar Reddy, staged a dharna before the RBI main office at Saifabad and raised slogans against BJP and the PM.
The Congress workers at Dilsukhnagar staged a novel protest against the Union government to highlight the plight of the common man by getting their heads tonsured before a bank. Reports of rallies and dharnas in some parts of Telangana had been received, though there was no major disturbance anywhere. Normal life was not affected with the shops and business houses remaining open, though there was no transactions as was being witnessed ever since the demonetization three weeks ago. Hotels and cinema theatres functioned normally without the normal rush.
After two days of holidays, banks opened as usual. People expecting that there would be some relief for them in the matter of getting required money were only disappointed with the expected money from the RBI not coming to the banks. The ATMs as usual remained shut and the banks at many places wore a deserted look with the staff telling customers that there was “no cash.” In spite of the banks not doing any transactions at many places, customers lined up before the banks expecting that the situation might ease later.
The police made elaborate security arrangements to thwart any untoward incident with more pickets posted near banks and also patrolling doubled in sensitive areas. The police also arrested some agitators when they tried to block roads and took out rallies violating prohibitory orders in force.
KCR reviews situation with ministers
Meanwhile, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao convened a cabinet meeting on Monday evening to discuss the situation prevailing in different parts of Telangana in the wake of demonetization. The Chief Minister tried to apprise himself with the ground realities from his cabinet colleagues regarding the hardships being encountered by the people, especially the farmers and the poor working class. The cabinet is understood to have discussed various ways and means to initiate measures to mitigate the sufferings of the people and also to apprise the Union government of the need for necessary assistance in this regard.