The nationwide bandh called by non-NDA parties against inconvenience caused to people due to demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes evoked little response in Himachal Pradesh as commercial establishments remained open. While the traders ignored the bandh call, the ruling Congress dissociated itself from CPI(M) and other parties sponsoring the bandh and simply gave a memorandum to the Governor to express its anguish over the inconvenience faced by people following demonetisation. Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh accompanied by his cabinet colleagues, HPCC head Sukhvinder Singh Sukkhu, Youth Congress chief Vikramaditya and others submitted a memorandum to Governor Acharya Devvrat at the Raj Bhawan. The memorandum stated that the inconvenience was faced by common people following demonetisation "which was done in haste, without making enough preparations." "There is no ATM facility in the villages and people in rural areas are suffering and cooperative banks have not been permitted to exchange the old notes," it said. The delegation urged the Governor to forward the memorandum to the President to apprise him of the concern of Congress party in the state. "The central government is changing its stand and issuing fresh instructions every day, adding to confusion and it was doubtful that whether this step would be effective in curbing black money", HPCC chief Sukkhu said. When Transport minister G S Bali said that passengers are facing great hardship as small notes are not available, Governor quipped and told Bali in lighter vein "Why not make the bus services free for some days". Former chief minister and leader of the Opposition in Vidhan Sabha said 'Bharat bandh' in Himachal was a total flop. "The failure of the bandh has proved that the people of the country are with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue of demonetisation meant to curb black money and the political parties and leaders supporting black money stood exposed," he said in a statement here. Dhumal said the writing on the wall is clear that the people would not tolerate the leaders and parties playing negative politics on "such crucial issues of great national interest.
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