In order to protest against the amended Citizenship Act, (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) has called for a Maharashtra bandh today (January 24). The protests are also against the 'wrong' economic policies of the centre, the VBA had said. While speaking to the media, VBA leader Prakash Ambedkar had earlier alleged the country witnessed unrest over the CAA, which the Centre was trying to implement.
"The country is on the path of economic bankruptcy. Due to demonetisation and GST, coupled with an atmosphere of mistrust in the country, the government is not getting revenue. The economic policies of the Centre are wrong," he alleged.
"Everyone should oppose the Union government move to implement CAA and NRC and extend support to the bandh. Our intention to call a bandh is to make people aware of the country's current weak economy," Ambedkar had said at a press conference.
Ambedkar also appealed to political parties and social organisations to join the bandh. He also met Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in connection with the bandh call.
Maharashtra bandh: Impact in Mumbai
The Maharashtra bandh is not likely to majorly impact Mumbai. Though security arrangements in Mumbai have been strengthened in the wake of the statewide bandh called by Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA).
Maharashtra: Security in Mumbai, in light of the statewide bandh called by Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) today, in protest against #CitizenshipAmendemntAct and National Register of Citizens (NRC). pic.twitter.com/Mc7nP0Hszk— ANI (@ANI) January 24, 2020
Meanwhile, four workers of Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) who were attempting to disrupt the movement of vehicular traffic while protesting as part of Maharashtra bandh were detained by the Maharashtra police. The party workers were detained from the Ghatkopar area of the city near Ramabai Ambedkar Nagar while they were stopping traffic on the highway.
Even, teachers had appealed the management for the closure of all schools and colleges, to avoid any untoward incident. The bandh will be observed in solidarity and protection against the brutal violence towards students and teachers in different states of India, the teachers said.
Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM has also stepped in support for the bandh. Union leader Shashank Rao said they will not participate in the bandh, but if there is violence, vehicles will stay away from the road for the safety of drivers.
According to Ambedkar, the implementation of CAA and NRC not only affects Muslims but also a large Hindu population.
He also questioned whether the government has enough funds for running the system after recent reports pointed out that the government facing a deficit of Rs 3 lakh crore.