The Congress has called for a Bharat Bandh on September 10 over rising fuel prices. Several opposition parties including the Samajwadi Party (SP), National Congress Party (NCP) and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) have supported the call for the bandh. While the ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal has not called for a complete shutdown, it plans to organise street protests in the state as a mark of opposition to the rising fuel prices.
Fuel prices in the country have been on the rise over the past few months and has almost touched Rs 90 per litre in major cities. While opposition parties led by the Congress plan to organise a bandh on September 10, Left parties have given a separate call for bandh on the same day. According to reports, Congress has also asked NGOs and civil society groups to join the bandh which will be held from 9 am to 3 pm on Monday.
The bandh was finalised in a meeting between top Congress leaders Ahmed Patel and Ashok Gehlot, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, NCP’s Tariq Anwar and JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav.
In Tamil Nadu, the DMK, MDMK and Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) have extended their support for the bandh. The ruling JD(S)-Congress combine in Karnataka has also supported the bandh call for September 10.
Congress Spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said that the BJP government is increasing the excise duty on crude oil products which in turn is causing the rise in prices. He also slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for being silent on the issue and not taking steps to reduce the excise duty and the State VAT on petroleum products. Demanding that the petroleum products be brought under the ambit of GST, Randeep Surjewala said that the move would bring some relief to the people.