Many oppn parties to participate in Cong-led Bharat Bandh, TMC to stay away
Top opposition party leaders like Sharad Pawar, M K Stalin, and left leaders have openly extended their support for the call for shut down, while the Trinamool Congress has decided to stay away from the protest.
The ruling TMC in West Bengal has expressed support on the issues on which the shut down has been called, but said it was against any kind of strike in the state according to the stated policy of party supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala alleged that the Narendra Modi government has "looted" Rs 11 lakh crore from the people of the country in the last 52 months and was running a "profiteering company" rather than a government.
"We demand that petrol and diesel be brought under the ambit of the GST. High prices of petrol and diesel found no mention in the BJP's national executive meeting because they are not bothered about the pain of public," Surjewala said.
He also urged people to bring about a change in the country by ousting the BJP from power.
Earlier, Congress spokesperson Ajay Maken said 21 opposition parties are supporting the Bharat bandh, besides a number of chambers of commerce and traders' associations.
"DMK will extend complete support to the Bharat Bandh call by the Indian National Congress protesting against the BJP government for the steep rise in prices of petrol and diesel. I urge the people and party cadre to make the bandh on September 10 a big success," Stalin has said.
In view of the bandh call, Congress has urged party workers not to indulge in any violent protest.
"I appeal to all Congress workers to make the bandh violence-free. We are Mahatma Gandhi's party and we should not associate ourselves with any violence," Maken said a media briefing.
Petrol and diesel prices set new records Sunday. According to the price notification issued by state fuel retailers, petrol price was raised by 12 paise a liter and diesel by 10 paise per liter on Sunday.
"Between 2014 and now, excise duty on petrol has risen by 211.7 percent and 433 percent on diesel. The excise duty on petrol was Rs 9.2 per liter in 2014 and it has gone up to Rs 19.48 per liter. Similarly, the excise duty on diesel was Rs 3.46 per liter and today it stands at Rs 15.33 per liter," he said.
Maken said that he was "pained" to see that BJP's national executive meeting here remained silent on the rising crude oil price issue and has not held any discussions on inflation or rupee depreciation, matters which are directly linked with the common man.
"I am pained that the meeting did not discuss a solution to these issues," he said.
"During our rule, Narendra Modi criticised the rising oil prices saying it has gone into ICU. What would they say now?" he asked.
Hitting out at the BJP for attacking the Congress with 'make in India breaking India' barb, Maken alleged the government has stalled the make in India initiative as 109 Rafale jets could have been manufactured at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, a PSU.