The call for Bharath Bandh given by the Congress in protest against the ever-increasing petrol and diesel prices, evoked partial response in Tamil Nadu and neighbouring Union Territory of Puducherry on Monday despite the backing by the DMK, the communists and other fraternal parties, besides the Marumalarchi DMK,the Pattali Makkal Katch and the Indian Union Muslim League.
The AIADMK Government in Tamil Nadu as well the Congress Government of Puducherry tried to maintain transport services with the help of employees affiliated to their parties, but even so only few buses were on the road.
In Puducherry, a couple of buses taken out of the depot with police protection in the morning were blocked by motor-cycle borne pro-strike protestors who smashed the rear windscreen. Bus services from Nagercoil and Kanyakumari to Thiruvanthapuram were halted at the Kerala border in view of the bandh.
In Chennai, even petrol pumps functioned but many shops remained closed in Burma Bazaar and other market areas. Similarly, good response was seen in Tiruchi and Madurai. Fishermen of Thoothukudi, Rameswaram and Kanyakumari observed a one-day strike as mechanised boat owners are also hit by the diesel price rise.