Load-shedding plunges Women’s Polytechnic near Plaza Chowk in Ranchi into darkness on Sunday night. Picture by Hardeep Singh
Ranchi, June 8: The BJP-sponsored daylong bandh against erratic power supply paralysed large parts of Santhal Pargana today and spurred Ajsu and JVM to piggyback in protest.
BJP workers in large numbers came out on the streets across the region, comprising six districts — Godda, Deoghar, Dumka, Jamtara, Sahebgunj and Pakur — to mount pressure on Jharkhand Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (JUVNL) and the state.
Apart from Pakur, local markets and important business establishments remained closed in the other districts, which have been the worst-hit by rampant power cuts. Though long-distance buses were available, their frequency was less.
Bandh supporters held demonstrations at all key points across the region and tried to disrupt train services in Sahebganj and Deoghar. In Jamtara, BJP workers scuffled with police and courted arrest. But, the administration released them later.
In Godda, led by MP Nishikant Dubey, party workers staged demonstrations against JUVNL to support former Union minister Yashwant Sinha, in jail since June 3.
“The people came out of their homes to protest against Yashwant Sinha’s arrest. He launched the stir in Hazaribagh and now it is spreading across the state,” Dubey told The Telegraph over telephone from Godda.
Taking a dig at the Hemant Soren government, state BJP spokesperson Pradip Sinha said: “If this is the situation in chief minister Hemant Soren’s traditional stronghold, think about the plight of the commoners in other parts of the state.”
He added most of the areas in the region had been living in the dark for the past several days. “Students are the worst sufferers. The BJP cannot stay a mute spectator when common people are living under such a pathetic condition,” he said.
The BJP has threatened to intensify the agitation in the coming days if the power board failed to improve the scenario at the earliest.
The party leadership may give a similar bandh call in other districts, it added.
While the BJP is riding on the issue to strike a chord with the people, other political parties are also planning to go on the protest path to cash in on the momentum.
The Ajsu women’s wing members will stage demonstrations in front of the JUVNL’s offices across the state on June 12.
The JVM is also working out protest plan to prove their point ahead of the coming Vidhan Sabha elections.
“We are also worried about the poor power situation and our government is seriously working out remedies,” said JMM general secretary Supriyo Bhattacharya.