Normal life in the JDS-Congress ruled Karnataka today came to a standstill as Opposition parties in the state actively participated in the Bharat bandh move, called upon by Congress president Rahul Gandhi against the rising fuel prices and depreciation of rupee.
Hundreds of workers belonging to the Congress, JD(S), Left parties and various other outfits came out on the streets to ensure the bandh was a success. They raised slogans against the hike in petrol and diesel prices.
Schools and colleges in Bengaluru have been closed for the day. The public transport, cinema theatres, multiplexes across the state will also be non-operational. The Metro was running on its normal schedule in Bengaluru, but traffic was less on roads.
The Bharat Bandh move in Karnataka is supported by a host of organisations such as Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, KSRTC, BMTC, Ola and Uber Drivers and Owners Association, Auto Drivers' Association.
Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation staff and workers' federation have extended their support to the bandh. State run buses stayed off the roads. The busy central bus stand in Bengaluru, which is normally bustling with activity also wore a deserted look, sources said.
All taxi services including Ola, Uber and TaxiForSure services have also been suspended till six in the evening.
Taking to Twitter, the Karnataka Congress wrote, "Today's #BharatBandh several autorickshaw unions and airport taxi owners' associations have also publicly supporting the bandh against the ModiSarkar"
The Federation of Karnataka State Lorry Owners and Agents Association, however, is only giving moral support.
The shutdown was successful in many other parts of the state including Tumakuru, Ramanagar, Mandya, Channapatna, Hassan, Mangaluru, Chamarajnagar, Mysuru. Hubballi, Bidar and Kolar.
In Mangaluru, incidents of stone pelting at hotels and shops, which remained open, were reported.
Condemning the shutdown BJP state chief B S Yeddyurappa called it a conspiracy by the coalition government of the Congress and JD(S) for forcibly making the bandh successful.
"It's an ill-intended bandh to trouble the common man and mislead them. This bandh is benefiting only the extortionists. People know what's happening. Nowhere in the country it's successful except for Karnataka because it's a conspiracy of the Congress and JD(S)," Mr Yeddyurappa said.
Elaborate security arrangements were made by the Karnataka Police in view of the bandh.