Nagpur News: The Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday (May 1) called a bandh on the contentious issue of Local Body Tax (LBT). The party took out a rally and appealed traders and footpath vendors to their rally by keeping their establishments closed. The appeal worked and hundreds of traders and vendors joined the rally giving the rally a massive shape.. However, some activists resorted to stoning of buses and in the process two buses were damaged with broken windshield.
The BJP bandh call received good response as shops in Sarafa Bazaar, Kirana Bazaar, Anaj Bazaar, Cloth Market, Loha Oli (Iron Market) and some small and big shops remained closed. The traders are anguished over the decision of Maharashtra Government to enforce LBT in place Octroi duty from April 1 and were resorting to bandh for the past 10 days. The bandh was too was receiving massive response.
However, the bandh agitation has put the consumers in great difficulty as many essential goods were not available as neither the retail traders were able to purchase essential as well as normal goods nor the wholesalers were able to purchase the goods from outside the city as trucks laden with different goods were not coming to city in view of the bandh.
BJP MLA and City Party President Krishna Khopde and his supporters, for success of bandh called by the party, were actively traversing many areas and were appealing traders, businessmen, industries and petrol dealers to close their establishments. He also took out a rally from Wardhaman Nagar.
Meanwhile, Nag Vidarbha Chamber of Commerce (NVCC) slammed the NMC Commissioner Shyam Vardhane for misleading the traders and citizens telling that the LBT was beneficial for traders as well as consumers by showing confusing figures. The NMC Commissioner had also stated that the small traders and footpath vendors were not covered by LBT. The truth is, the NVCC informed, all retail traders as well as footpath vendors, paan thelas, roadside eatables, doctors, engineers, architects, educational institutes, hospitals, and even Government offices were directed register themselves with NMC on LBT. The NMC top boss was issuing contradictory statements thereby misleading the citizens and trader community as well.
10TH DAY OF AGITATION: Today (May 1) was the 10th day of agitation by various traders, vendors, businessmen and industries on the LBT issue. They are vociferously demanding cancellation of LBT by Maharashtra Government. However, on one hand, the Government is in no mood to withdraw LBT and on the other hand, the trader community has shown no any sign of stopping the agitation thus creating a no-win situation. Responding to the agitation several traders and other concerned people who could not participate directly in the agitation are sending SMSes to each other showing their solidarity for the agitation. The SMSes read: “Ham Bhi Saath Hain” (We are with you unitedly).
AGITATION HITS LABOURERS: May 1 being the International Labour Day, the local labourers, leave alone celebrating the day, have been forced to starve as the agitation has left no work and they are sitting idle at various markets places. Few of them are able to earn money when the shops and wholesale markets open for some time. If the agitation prolongs the days are not far away when the labourers and their families would face a total starvation in the days of scorching summer thus taking a heavy toll of their health. The Maharashtra Government and the traders should ponder over the fact and resolve the issue on emergency basis.