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Published On: Mon, Sep 10th, 2018

Congress leads nationwide strike against fuel price hike

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bandh-2NEW DELHI :  In the national capital, Congress president Rahul Gandhi lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government and said that only 15-20 people are benefiting under BJP’s regime. He accused the government of inciting hatred among countrymen.
“PM has shown path to capitalists and entrepreneurs, but has led farmers, women and youth towards darkness,” Gandhi said. Earlier in the day, he visited Raj Ghat along with senior Congress leaders Ashok Gehlot and Ghulam Nabi Azad to pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi before formally joining the protest.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi with others leaders takes part in a protest march during the ‘Bharat Bandh’ protest called by Congress and other parties against fuel price hike and depreciation of the rupee, in New Delhi, Monday.
He said that the hike in prices of petroleum products was a “momentary difficulty” due to the international crisis, and condemned the incidents of violence during the Bharat Bandh. The Bharatiya Janata Party claimed that the shutdown was “unsuccessful” because people understand the reasons why petrol and diesel prices were going up.
“Why the people of India are indifferent to Bharat Bandh? They understand the rise in fuel prices, though temporary, is because of factors beyond the control of the Indian government and ordinary indian,” Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told the media. He said that in spite of some “momentary difficulty”, the people don’t support the Bandh.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also attacked PM Modi and called his government ‘despotic’. He asked a united Opposition to keep aside their differences and work together to fight the Bharatiya Janata Party government, which has ‘failed to fulfil promises’. “Public is tired and angry; farmers are upset; youth is disturbed. There are no jobs,” he said. Singh along with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi joined Congress president Rahul Gandhi at Ramlila Maidan as Opposition observes Bharat Bandh against rising fuel prices.
Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) patron Sharad Yadav was also seen sharing stage with the senior Congress leaders.The Congress on Monday demanded the Narendra Modi government cut the excise duty and customs duty on petrol and diesel after what it called was a successful Bharat Bandh from Kashmir to Kanyakumari.

In states like Kerala, Karnataka, Bihar, Odisha and Arunachal Pradesh, life was hit by the shutdown while Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Mizoram remained largely unaffected.
In Bhopal, a flower shop owned by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s son Kartikey was at the centre of a protest by Congress workers. The shop, situated in Ravishankar Market, later downed shutters following the protest, said Madhya Pradesh Congress spokesperson Pankaj Chaturvedi
Prices in Delhi, where rates are the cheapest among all metros and most state capitals because of lower VAT, saw petrol touch an all-time high of Rs 80.73 per litre Monday while diesel scaled to new high of Rs 72.83 a litre.
A cut in taxes on petrol and diesel is ruled out for now as neither the central government nor some states have the appetite to stomach revenue loss from such a move, a top government official said Monday.While a cut in excise duty that the central government levies will impact fiscal deficit, states like Bihar, Kerala, and Punjab are not in a position to cut sales tax (or VAT), the official, who wished not to be identified, said.
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said that it was the Shiv Sena’s decision to abstain from participating in the “Bharat Bandh” and its stand had nothing to do with the BJP.  Speaking to reporters outside the Chennai airport on Monday morning, Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker and AIADMK MP Thambidurai M said “Bandhs called by the

Opposition are common, but Congress leading this particular bandh is disingenuous. It was under the Congress rule’ in the Centre that the authority to regulate oil prices in the country was handed over to private companies. This has hurt the public while profiting private players. The current government at the centre is only following previously set down plans.”
Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad acknowledged that the people were facing “momentary difficulty” due to increasing petrol and diesel prices and said they understand that this was due to factors beyond the control of the central government. The Left leaders said the BJP was not batting an eyelid over the miseries it has created for the people. ”
The ruling party is “daydreaming” to be in power for 50 years, they said, referring to BJP chief Amit Shah’s claim at the party’s national executive meet in Delhi Sunday. “They did not even mention about the fuel price hike, farmers’ distress in their executive meet. It shows they are not worried about the people but only want to be in power.
Congress’ Gujarat in-charge and MP Rajeev Satav, GPCC president Amit Chavda and other leaders were detained while protesting during Bharat Bandh. Opposition party workers allegedly halted trains at various stations in West Bengal, while their attempts in Maharashtra were foiled by the police as they were chased away and services were resumed. People participating in nationwide shutdown in West Bengal went on a complete rampage.

as cylinders on their heads and wearing a host of messages round their neck that conveyed people’s sentiments towards the ‘false promise of acche din’ by the Modi government.
While SP president Akhilesh Yadav has declared support to the bandh, he has not personally participated in it. The SP workers held demonstrations at the district headquarters and submitted applications to the administration. In Kanpur, SP workers were prevented by police from doing so. Targeting the BJP, Mr. Yadav said the people have now started to feel that the BJP has opened up a laboratory to harass them and cause distress.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Sharad Pawar, during his address at Ramlila Maidan claims the BJP ignored Atal Bihari Vajpayee when he was alive. “When Atalji was alive, they (BJP) never remembered him. But now they are remembering him day and night,” he says.(with Agency Inputs ).




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