Bhopal, July 16 (IANS) The shutdown call of the Congress and other opposition parties in Madhya Pradesh over the Vyapam scam evoked a mixed response as heavy deployment of security forces prevented any untoward incident from taking place.
Though normalcy prevailed with regard to essential services in the state, at some places public transportation was affected by the shutdown.
Tension gripped some places due to the presence of both Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress supporters. Small businesses were affected in the morning, as they feared violence.
The opposition parties in Madhya Pradesh pressed their demand that Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan should step down and the ongoing CBI probe should be carried out under the Supreme Court’s supervision.
The Vyapam scam came to light in 2013 and has since assumed mind-boggling proportions, leading to the arrest of nearly 2,100 people. Over 40 people linked in some way or the other to the scam have died, some mysteriously and some have committed suicide.
In Bhopal, at places like Maharana Pratap Nagar, New Market, and old Bhopal people faced difficulty in shopping.
Congress national general secretary Digvijaya Singh and state leader Arun Yadav hit the road to seek public support for the shutdown call. However, many people opened their shops late afternoon.
Educational and medical institutes remained unaffected by the shutdown.
In Maharana Pratap Nagar, some BJP supporters were seen appealing people to open their shops and thwart opposition parties’ bid to impose their will upon the state.
In Indore, there was a mixed response to the shutdown call. While Congress supporters were seen offering roses to shopkeepers and asking them to put the shutters down, the BJP supporters were going round exhorting the shopkeepers not to heed the opposition call.
In Rajwara area, police prevented scuffle between Congress and BJP supporters by making timely intervention.
There was a mixed response of the shutdown call in Jabalpur too. Though shops remained shut in the morning, as the day wore on the traders and shopkeepers opened their establishments. Public transportation was also affected somewhat, but educational institutes and health centres functioned normally.
Gwalior too witnessed a mixed response to the shutdown. Though shutdown remained effective here till afternoon, the markets opened normally later the day.
Claiming their shutdown as a complete success, the Congress blamed BJP leaders for trying to foil it throughout the day.
BJP’s Nandkumar Singh thanked the business fraternity for not supporting the bandh, and said the shutdown call failed miserably to effect general life.