Bhubaneswar: The opposition shutdown Thursday against the reforms rolled out by the central government crippled life in many parts of Odisha as passengers and commercials vehicles went off the roads, police said.
Passengers also faced difficulties as train services were disrupted since protestors squatted on rail tracks in different places. This forced several trains to remain stranded at railway stations.
Shops downed their shutters in many places, including Cuttack, the main retail business hub of the state.
Government and private offices, schools, colleges, banks, and other financial institutions also remained shut. Protestors also carried out rallies, marches and demonstrations at different places.
In state capital Bhubaneswar, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) activists carried out a procession shouting anti government slogans.
The shutdown, however, had less impact in western parts of the state, including Sambalpur and Bolangir town, as the annual harvest festival of Nuakhai is underway in the region and protestors had decided not to enforce the shutdown.
The opposition parties called for nationwide shutdown to protest the centre's decision to allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail sector, sharp increase in diesel prices and imposing restriction on the number of subsidised cooking gas cylinders.
In Odisha, nine non-Congress political parties, including the left parties and the BJP, had given the shutdown call separately.
The ruling Biju Janata Dal, however, stayed away from the strike saying that it will cause inconvenience to the people who are celebrating the harvest festival.