There is almost negligible impact of the Bharat Bandh in Andhra Pradesh, called out by the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), protesting the ever skyrocketing fuel prices, e-way bill and Good and Services Tax (GST) on Friday.
“No impact of the CAIT strike, everybody opened their shops. I just received oil and other goods from wholesalers from a nearby town,” Nagasrinu told IANS, who runs a kirana store in West Godavari district.
As Nagasrinu was talking about impact of the Bharat Bandh, a sanitary and electrical shop beside his kirana store just received a load of goods in an auto rickshaw from a wholesaler in Bhimavaram, indicating the failure of the strike in the southern state.
“Unlike strikes called out by the political parties, a strike like the one called out by CAIT may not be that effective,” noted Nagasrinu, whose family has been in the kirana store business for generations.
Whenever there is a political party-backed strike, like the ones called by the Left parties, he said the party cadres come by 10 a.m. in the morning and request them to shut their shops.
Though there is negligible impact of the traders Bharat Bandh in Andhra Pradesh, there is definite impact of the protests currently underway in Visakhapatnam, protesting the Central government’s decision to privatize the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant.
Not just steel plant employees but people from all sections of the society, including women have come onto the roads to protest the steel plant’s privatization.
“It is a shameful thing that the BJP government is moving towards privatizing the steel plant which was procured after several sacrifices and lives were laid down for it,” said Subba Rao, one of the protesters in the port city and affiliated to the ruling Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP)
He said the steel plant is not just the problem of the employees or Visakhapatnam people, it is tied to the city as well as the state.
Rao noted that the development of Vizag or Visakhapatnam is linked to the steel plant.
“Whenever BJP comes to power, it undermines public sector enterprises,” he said and highlighted that they will fight against the privatization.
Another protester said that the central government is behaving in a provocative way as he observed that an inter-ministerial group has been formed for privatization, despite most of the political parties in the state opposing the move.