The Congress has called for a Bharat bandh on Monday to protest against rising fuel prices as well as the fall in the value of the Rupee in comparison to the US Dollar. Congress has claimed that 20 Opposition parties, including SP, BSP, TMC, DMK and RJD, as well as several chambers of commerce and traders’ bodies, have backed its Bharat bandh call. However, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has made it clear that it would not join the shutdown call by the Congress, IANS reported.
Moreover, five Left Front parties have given a separate call for bandh over the hike in fuel prices, the problem of farmers and unemployment issues. Congress communication department head Randeep Surjewala has said the bandh would be observed across the country between 9 am and 3 pm, so as not to inconvenience the people.
Trinamool Congress has said it would organise street protests but would not enforce a shutdown in West Bengal, while the BJD-led Odisha government on Saturday directed all schools to remain closed on Monday.
The Congress has demanded an immediate reduction of central excise duty and excessive VAT in the states and bringing petrol and diesel under the ambit of GST. The Congress has claimed that SP, BSP, NCP, TMC, RLD, RJD, CPI, CPM, AIDUF, NC, JMM, JVM, DMK, AAP, TDP, Kerala Congress (M), RSP, IUML, Lok Tantric Janata Dal – S Yadav and Swabhiman Paksha – R Shetty have backed their Bharat Bandh call. Left Front chairman Biman Bose has called for a 12-hour strike from 6 am to 6 pm on Monday across West Bengal. Congress leader Ajay Maken has alleged that the BJP government kept on raising excise duty on fuel even as international crude oil prices have come down. “The government has collected Rs 11 crore as excise duty by burdening people and robbing them,” he said. All you need to know about today’s Bharat bandh.