Congress is confident that the bandh on Friday would be successful. The opposition party has claimed the support of all sections of society for its bandh call while alleging that government machinery was being used to suppress the strike.
Some traders also confirmed getting calls from government agencies asking them to keep their markets open. On the other hand, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seems to have done micro-planning to ensure the failure of the bandh.
The Congress has appealed to people of Gujarat to observe a peaceful bandh on Friday. “This is a government of the corrupt and murderers. People of all communities, castes, religions and political parties have suffered in Gujarat,” said Arjun Modhwadia, president of the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC).
The party also alleged that government machinery would be misused to ensure failure of the bandh and instil fear in people.
“The collectors and deputy superintendents of police had a meeting with BJP workers and asked traders not to join the bandh call,” claimed Modhwadia. The GPCC chief also feared that the ruling BJP might send its workers to create ruckus during the protest. They also warned government officials of facing consequences in future for working at the behest of the BJP.
Traders and government officials, meanwhile, confirmed that the government was taking proactive measures to ensure the failure of the bandh. “We got a call from a government agency asking us not to join the bandh,” said a trader.
“BJP has done micro-planning and asked its workers to reach out to industry associations and traders and convince them to keep their markets open on Friday,” said an official of one of the reputable industry associations in the city.
Meanwhile, the industry associations denied joining bandh called by any political party as the economy itself was in a bad shape.