Will there be a Bharat Bandh on November 28th 2016?

Amid calls of Bharat Bandh (nationwide shutdown) on 28th November 2016, several parties have decided to stay out of it.

West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC Supremo Mamata Banerjee is the latest to opt out of Bandh. She tweeted, “In Delhi at the meeting of Opposition parties, a Bandh was never discussed or agreed to. We do not support any Bandh called”. This turned out to be a big setback for the Bandh Organizers as Mamata was one of the foremost critic of the Demonetization and

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has already expressed his support for the Demonetization scheme of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, hence it is unlikely that his party would support the Bandh.

Samajwadi Party Leader Amar Singh has also supported the Demonetization Drive and praised the Prime Minister for this. Thus, SP is unlikely to support the shutdown.

Telangana Rashtriya Samiti has already opted out of Bharat Bandh. “Our party will not participate in the Bharat Bandh to be observed on November 28,” TRS MP B Vinod Kumar said on Friday.

The only prominent force supporting the Bandh is Left Front while rules Tripura and Kerala and has a sizeable presence in West Bengal. The Bandh is likely to impact these states.

The central intelligence bureau reports that bandh is likely to be most severe in West Bengal followed by Karnataka and Kerala.

In Kerala the bandh will take the form of a hartal. In Kerala it has been decided to exempt the banking sector, marriage functions, hospitals, milk and newspaper vendors from the dawn to dusk hartal. In Karnataka transport services are likely to be hit. KSRTC, BMTC and Metro services would remain suspended on Monday.

In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, YSR Congress has supported the Bandh. YSRCP Leader Bhumana Karunakar Reddy on Saturday gave a call for Bharat Bandh on November 28 as a protest against the government.

After the call of Bandh was formally announced, there has been massive opposition to it across the social media. People openly came out opposing the shutdown and called for a boycott of it. Many Trade Unions have also vowed to oppose the move.

Under such circumstances, the impact of Bandh is likely to be minimal and remain limited to few states only. In other places, a mixed response is expected.