5th July, 2010:
The nationwide bandh called for by the Opposition caused minor unrest in usually peaceful areas such as Sopore, Writer’s Building and Parliament House. Insiders claim this has something to do with the hike in petroleum prices.
Leader of the Opposition L K Advani commended the young Turks of the BJP like Rajnath Singh and Murli Manohar Joshi for taking the initiative in organising this strike. In an aside to his progressive aide Uma Bharti, he was overheard asking if his next Rath Yatra could be engineered in an electric chariot.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi thundered that it was becoming increasingly expensive to burn down even medium-sized Muslim ghettoes. Ex-Petroleum Minister Ram Naik vehemently agreed with him.
Workers of the Shiv Sena and MNS engaged in healthy competition while burning tyres on the Western Express Highway. Amidst cries of protest against migrants, Muslims and M F Hussain, senior functionaries remarked to each other that the price of petrol seemed to have gone up.
BJP MP Hema Malini took time out from jetting across the country for her Ras-Leela performances to reminisce about the good old days when transport depended less on barrels and more on Basanti.
Gondia locals were astonished to find their MP Praful Patel spending an entire day in his home constituency. When he complained about being stranded there due to zero fuel reserves in his helicopter, State Home Minister R R Patil assured him that “Bade bade deshon mein aisi chhoti chhoti baatein hoti rehti hain.”
Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh celebrated the price hike as he expects pollution levels to decrease drastically. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh had to restrain him from joining in the revelry and remind him that he was a Cabinet Minister. Shashi Tharoor tweeted that he was spending the day on the backwaters of Kerala with Sunanda Pushkar. Congress spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan reprimanding the former Minister of State for External Affairs to keep his internal affairs to himself took the wind out of his sails.
Communist cadres from Salt Lake to Sonagachi took to the streets in protest. Politburo member Prakash Karat called the price hike a capitalist conspiracy, which led to West Bengal CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee planning a havan to ward off American evils. Kalaignar Karunanidhi, while trying to douse conflagrations between his sons M K Stalin and Azhagiri, was forced to remind the comrades that they were supposed to be atheist.
Food and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar was spotted enjoying his beedi at the plush ICC headquarters and washing his hands off the grain crisis by blaming the transport strike for his inability to supply harvested crops. Congress MP Naveen Jindal joined in the protest as his khaps were rendered impotent owing to their being stranded at the All-India Khap Conference held at Greater Noida. It was all in a day’s work for Uttar Pradesh CM Mayawati, who inaugurated 27 statues of herself in the Rae Bareilly district and promised to rename it Petrol Keemat Ghatao Hartal Nagar.
Amar Singh characteristically had nothing to say.
Meanwhile, other issues of import were pushed into the background. Warren Anderson and Arjun Singh slept soundly after years.
Sensing that his job was being done well by others, Naxal supremo Kishanji took the day off.
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