Congress strike hits life in Chhattisgarh

March 8th, 2008 - 5:53 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

Raipur, March 8 (IANS) A daylong strike in Chhattisgarh Saturday called by the opposition Congress party to protest allegedly derogatory remarks against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party president Sonia Gandhi hit normal life but was largely peaceful. In state capital Raipur, schools were shut, buses kept off the roads and markets wore a deserted look. But in southern Bastar and northern Surguja regions, the strike failed to make much impact.

At two places in Raipur, the police clashed with Congress workers who were armed with sticks when the party supporters tried to enforce the strike at busy commercial complexes where the police were deployed fearing trouble.

The shutdown was called to protest the reported comments by Ram Vilas Vedanti, former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Uttar Pradesh, about the prime minister, Sonia Gandhi and her son, party MP Rahul Gandhi, at a state government function March 3.

Vedanti, a Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader, made the comments at Rajim, about 45 km from here, while addressing a function at the Rajim Kumbh Mela, a religious event organised annually by the state cultural department on the banks of the Mahanadi river.

State Congress president Charandas Mahant who led the protest rally in Raipur along with several party legislators, sought immediate arrest of Vedanti for his “highly substandard and abusive language about top ranking Congress leaders”.

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