Opposition parties have so far been united in their protest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation decision and have collectively protested outside Parliament. However, following PM Modi’s comment that he was trying to shut down black money and corruption while they were trying to shut down the nation (Bharat Bandh), only the Left is continuing with the Bharath Bandh today.
Considering the large costs involved, parties such as Aam Aadmi Party, Congress and Trinamool Congress have stated that they do not support a ‘bandh’ but will continue their protests in Parliament and on the streets.
Congress which has led the opposition protests in Parliament demanding the presence of PM Modi for the demonetisation decision clarified that they are not calling for bharat bandh but ‘Jan Aakrosh’ rallies.
From the three states where Left parties have a strong presence, West Bengal has witnessed no impact from any type of Bandh since morning, but CM Mamata Banerjee is expected to lead a protest march in Kolkata in the afternoon. In Kerala, the bandh call is expected to have an impact with shops remaining closed and public transport off the roads, but banks and tourist vehicles are exempted.
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Since Bihar CM Nitish Kumar has come out in support of demonetisation, in contrast to most of the Opposition leaders, Bihar is not expected to respond to the bandh. Nitish Kumar has said that he is convinced that demonetisation will help combat corruption and black or undisclosed money.