FDI: Bandh call gets mixed response

The Delhi bandh against foreign direct investment (FDI), called by the traders associations and BJP on Thursday, received a mixed response.

While major markets in Karol Bagh, Chandni Chowk, Sadar Bazar, Kamla Nagar, Lajpat Nagar and Karol Bagh remained closed, markets in Green Park, INA and Sarojini Nagar remained partially open.

Vijay Prakash Jain, general secretary of Udyog Vyapar Mandal, claimed that the bandh was a success as major retail markets in Rajouri Garden, Daryaganj, Sadar, Rohini and Civil Lines shut shop.

"We started from Civil Lines and assembled at Jantar Mantar. All of them (protesting traders) were there till 3 pm," he said.

BJP showed solidarity towards the traders by organising marches in many parts of the city. Party workers burnt effigies of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit in at least 20 locations.

However, no untoward incident was reported.

Confederation of All India Traders' Delhi president Narender Madan said a large number of traders downed shutters to participate in the one-day strike.

The day-long bandh, however, affected those who wanted to shop as the wedding season is at its peak.

"We wanted to purchase jewellery for my brother's wedding. I forgot there was a bandh call. I came to Karol Bagh and found it closed and had to return," said Smriti Tomer, a resident of Patel Nagar.

Some of the traders who did not shut shop were of the opinion that they were unaware of details concerning FDI and did not want to disappoint shoppers.

"We did not shut the market as we are unaware of the FDI issue and the protest too. We did not want to trouble the consumers," said a trader at Sarojini Nagar market.

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