Pune: Reacting to the violent protests carried by Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) during ‘Bharat Bandh’ called by Congress, Congress leaders on Tuesday condemned the violent incidents during the bandh. Party leaders have clarified that Congress did not approach MNS to participate in the bandh, while on the other hand, MNS claimed that they participated on their own.
Congress had called for a bandh against the rising fuel prices. Party had appealed to all the opposition parties to support and participate in the bandh. In Pune city, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supported Congress under the leadership of Member of Parliament (MP) Supriya Sule. On the other hand, MNS participated in the bandh without giving any intimation. Also, several buses were vandalised and MNS had also staged a ‘rasta roko’ in Pimpri Chinchwad.
While condemning violence, Ramesh Bagwe, City Unit Chief of Congress said, “We had declared that the bandh should be carried in a peaceful manner and we offered roses to people as a symbol of protest. According to us, the bandh was 85 per cent successful. Also, we had excluded school, hospitals and other emergency facilities from the bandh. However, MNS conducted a violent agitation, in spite of not inviting them to participate in the bandh.”
On the other hand, Anil Shidore, MNS senior leader, said, “We held a meeting to call a protest against fuel price hike. However, we did not fix a date for the protest. But, when Congress called bandh against fuel price hike, we decided to protest on the same day. Also, we had given written instructions to our party workers about not creating any violence during the bandh.”
He further pointed out, ”Our party workers mostly are young and so vandalisation may have happened. As a party, we take care to prevent any violent incidents.”