SHILLONG, Sept 10: The bharat bandh called by the All India Congress Committee (AICC) failed to have an impact in Meghalaya as Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC), which had pushed for legal action against shutdowns during its rule five years ago, has abstained from nationwide Bharat bandh against fuel price hike.
All the business establishments, educational institutions and offices remained functional during the day.
A senior AICC leader said the party has not enforced the shutdown in the state in view of the Meghalaya High Court’s ruling against bandhs in 2013. The Gauhati High Court, too, had given a similar ruling.
“Because the Congress cannot call for a bandh in Meghalaya, the state party committee stated that this demonstration was to express their solidarity and to extend their support in protesting against the “anti-people agenda” of the BJP-led Government which, according to the former chief minister Mukul Sangma, is going to be disastrous to this great nation.
“Today is an important day for the nation because for a democracy to sustain and the democracy to be vibrant, we need alert, vigilant and assertive citizens. This is what the Congress, all along, has stood for,” Sangma said.
The Congress, though, has appealed to the civil society to support the bandh against fuel price hike by other parties including the Left. Congress leaders later in the day carried out a protest march in Shillong in the afternoon.
A high court ruling in May 2015 restrained even the media from publicising the statement of organisations calling bandh, strike, hartal, road blockade and holding of rallies in state.
The AICC general secretary in-charge Meghalaya, Luizinho Faleiro, and top leaders of the state Congress on Sunday asked the Centre to roll back the fuel price hike, a day ahead of the Bharat Bandh.
CLP leader Mukul Sangma, Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee president Celestine Lyngdoh, Shillong MP Vincent Pala and other MLAs had a separate meeting with the AICC leader regarding the matter.