Bhubaneswar, Jan 6:
The state Congress is all set to hold a dawn-to-dusk ‘hartal’ across the state on Tuesday demanding the resignation of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and a CBI inquiry into the multi-crore mining scam in the state.
Transport services are expected to be affected while passenger bus services will be completely paralyzed during the day time as the private bus owners’ association and OSRTC have already announced their decision not to ply their buses on the road tomorrow.
“We have decided not to ply buses during the daytime tomorrow. However, night buses will run as usual. Nearly 14,000 buses will stay completely off the roads tomorrow,” said a member of the bus owners’ association.
Schools and colleges will also remain closed. However, the school and mass education department maintained that the school authorities will take a call on the issue after assessing the situation.
The party has clarified that the hartal will only be a symbolic affair in the state capital in view of the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls scheduled for Wednesday. It will organize a token dharna at PMG square to ensure that electioneering for the BMC polls is not affected.
Meanwhile, politics has snowballed over the hartal call of the Congress. While PCC president Jayadev Jena sought to corner the BJD government for allowing illegal mining in the state causing huge loss to the state coffer, BJD leader and Agriculture Minister Devi Prasad Mishra termed it as an election gimmick. He also said the Congress itself was mired in a series of corruption scandals.
On its part, the BJP indirectly supported the hartal stating that it is the right of the opposition party to protest against the government. Senior leader Biswabhusan Harichandan, however, cautioned that the commuters should not be inconvenienced during the hartal call.
Meanwhile, the government has announced that the liquor shops in the city will remain closed till January 9 to prevent any untoward incident during the elections. However, parties are believed to have stocked enough liquor for distribution among the electorate before the election.