Nagpur traders claimed a business loss of around 20% due to the Maharashtra bandh (shutdown) today. Nagpur observed a bandh in most part of the areas after an outfit of the Maratha community protesters ‘Sakal Maratha Samaj’ protested all over Maharashtra demanding a 16% reservation in jobs and education.
When Nation Next spoke to Dipen Agrawal, President at Chamber of Association of Maharashtra Industry and Trade, he said, “Firstly, just because today we’ve observed a bandh in Nagpur, it doesn’t mean we support the idea of Maratha protests across the state. Secondly, shutting all offices and educational institutions is no way of protesting. If you demand a particular thing from the government, why should businessmen and traders suffer losses? Nagpur traders have suffered a business loss of around 18-20% due to Maharashtra bandh today.”
Shashikant Atey, Manager at a retail store ‘Shree Shivam’ at Fortune Mall in Nagpur, said, “Even our store has observed a bandh today. Our staff is only carrying out their operations at the store. We aren’t attending customers today. We’re incurring losses as we have to pay salaries to our employees irrespective of the shutdown.”
When we asked former MLA Ashok Dhawad about the same, he said, “It’s unfortunate that Nagpur traders have suffered such a major loss. But, even if the stores were open, people would have anyway not come there due to the bandh.”
When Nation Next asked Dhawad about the speculations of Maratha protest receiving a lukewarm response in Nagpur, he said, “The protest was successful. Also, one can’t really measure the success of any protest by the number of protesters. Going by that logic, earlier, lakhs of Maratha protesters had successfully participated in the silent morcha in almost 58 protests across the state. Moreover, the protesters have conveyed their message through their protests to the government.”