Shutdown evokes mixed response in Tamil Nadu (Lead)

September 20th, 2012 - 4:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Sep 20 (IANS) The nationwide shutdown Thursday called by the BJP and the Left parties over the central government’s recent economic measures evoked a partial response in Tamil Nadu. No untoward incident was reported, police said.

The shutdown is supported by the DMK, a constituent of the United Progressive alliance, and evoked only a mixed response in Tamil Nadu. State transport buses were plying on the roads and government offices as well as educational institutions were functioning. But shops remained shut and trucks were off the roads.

The opposition parties called the nationwide shutdown to protest the Congress-led UPA government’s decision to allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail sector, increase diesel prices and to cap supply of subsidised cooking gas cylinders.

Cadres of Left parties held road and rail blockades in some places in the state.

In the state capital Chennai, police took into custody BJP state leader Pon Radhakrishnanand and other party activists for staging protests at public places.

Most of the shops, restaurants and other outlets in busy commercial centres in Chennai downed their shutters and major roads wore deserted look.

Most of the shops in the wholesale vegetable market in Koyambedu here were closed. According to reports many shops in other cities like Coimbatore and Madurai too remained shut and many knitting units in Tirupur did not operate.

The government-owned banks and insurance companies functioned but with reduced staff attendance, according to workers union officials.

In Tamil Nadu, the DMK, Left parties and others have supported the shutdown while the ruling AIADMK, though voicing its opposition to the centre’s economic measures, has not supported the shutdown.

The DMK is a major constituent in the ruling UPA at the centre.

Welcoming the DMK’s decision to participate in the shutdown, D. Pandian, Tamil Nadu state secretary of Communist Party of India (CPI), told IANS: “This is the first step. We will have to see whether the party will follow the steps of the Trinamool Congress that announced withdrawal of its support to the centre.”

Pandian said the allies of the Congress will certainly have to face the negative rub-off following the decisions taken by the central government.

According to police, elaborate security arrangements have been made across the state to prevent any untoward incident.

While the government announced that schools and colleges would function, some private schools announced a holiday much to the relief of many parents.

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