The Federation of Traders Associations of Pune will participate in Maharashtra Bandh on Monday called by Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) by closing shops until 3 p.m.
The Shiv Sena, Congress and the NCP will work together in close coordination to ensure the success of the statewide October 11 bandh, which was announced by all three parties last week. The three parties called on the bandh to protest the violence in Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh, where eight people were killed.
City leaders from Congress, NCP, Shiv Sena and other organizations held a meeting on Sunday and decided to hold a rally at the Ambedkar statue near Pune train station at 11 a.m. The meeting brought together Ramesh Bagve from Congress, Mohan Joshi, Prashant Jagtap from NCP, Prashant Badhe from Sena, Nitin Pawar from Shetkari Bachao Kriti Samiti and Swapnil Fuse from Lokayat.
A delegation of MVA leaders also met representatives of traders’ associations to ask them to support the bandh. Fatehchand Ranka of the Federation of Pune Traders Associations said that given the losses suffered by traders due to the disruption caused by the pandemic, traders agreed to observe the bandh until 3 p.m. -midday.
“All the constituent parties of the MVA, other ideologically inclined groups, the workers’ union PMPML and several student unions have announced their support for the bandh. These groups will organize cycle rallies in their respective areas and attend the rally at the Ambedkar statue. We are determined to make the bandh a success in a peaceful manner, ”said Ramesh Iyer, spokesperson for the city’s Congress.
Automobile associations, taxi associations, private offices and schools have been invited to participate in the bandh, Iyer added.
Meanwhile, senior Pune City Police officials said an adequate force deployment was planned on Monday. An officer said sensitive locations have been identified and a plan has been made for these locations as well as the route of a rally that is expected to start from the Pune district collector’s office.
The deployment will include two additional police commissioners, two deputy police commissioners, eight deputy police commissioners, 13 police inspectors, 76 assistant inspectors, 87 deputy inspectors and 3,000 police officers.
The BJP criticized bandh’s call and said the parties were playing politics over the Lakhimpur Kheri incident. BJP MP Atul Bhatkhalkar said: “They are trying to capitalize on the Lakhimpur Kheri incident. If someone forces the stores to close, the BJP will come on the road and stop them. “
(With contributions from ENS Mumbai)