Congress strike in Chhattisgarh hits normal life

March 8th, 2008 - 2:25 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Sonia Gandhi

Raipur, March 8 (IANS) A daylong strike called Saturday by the opposition Congress in Chhattisgarh to protest alleged derogatory remarks against party president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh saw schools remaining shut and buses off the roads. The shutdown was called to protest the alleged abusive comments by Ram Vilas Vedanti, former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Uttar Pradesh, at Sonia Gandhi, her son and party MP Rahul Gandhi and the prime minister at a state government function on March 3.

Vedanti, who is 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.

In state capital Raipur, schools were shut and buses kept off the roads as dozens of Congress workers wielding batons spilled onto the busy areas and markets to enforce the strike.

State Congress president Charandas Mahant told newspersons that party workers were instructed to ensure a total but peaceful shutdown in all the 18 districts.

He asked the BJP government to arrest Vedanti for his “highly substandard and abusive language about top ranking Congress leaders”.

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