The Congress will today organize a nationwide shutdown or Bharat Bandh to protest rising fuel prices. The Congress has asked other opposition parties and civil society groups to join their protest against the government. Congress leader Randeep Surjewala had said that the common man was bearing the burden of escalating prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas.
The Congress said 21 opposition parties are supporting the Bharat Bandh along with a number of chambers of commerce and traders’ associations.
The party demanded that petrol and diesel should be brought under GST, by which oil prices could drop by about Rs 15 to Rs 18.
The Congress along with the JD(S), who run a coalition government in Karnataka, will gear up to organise the Bharat Bandh in the state. Schools and colleges in the state capital Bengaluru, will be closed today and daily life will likely be affected. Public transport, cinema theatres, multiplexes among others. A host of organisations such as Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, KSRTC, BMTC, Ola and Uber Drivers and Owners Association, Auto Drivers’ Association will lend their support to the Bharat Bandh in Karnataka.
In West Bengal, the Trinamool Congress said that while it supported the issues related to increasing fuel prices, it would not support the Bharat Bandh called by the Congress. The reason, it said, was that strikes like the Bharat Bandh would lead to a waste of working hours. Trinamool Congress Secretary General Partha Chatterjee had urged the Trinamool activists and common people to keep shops and establishments functional today.
In Odisha, the ruling BJD has also refused to support the Bharat Bandh called by the Congress. Toeing the Trinamool line, it also said that it was against the hike in fuel prices. The Odisha government has however, announced that all schools in the state would be closed today to ensure the safety of students.
Here are the LIVE Updates from the Bharat Bandh over rising fuel prices:
Bharat Bandh: Uddhav Thackeray will decide whether the Sena will join the protests over fuel price hike or not.
Police in Rajasthan’s Jaipur has said that precautionary measures have been taken. Rajasthan police has been directed to take stringent action against protestors resorting to violence.
Commissioner Of Police, Pune City, Dr Venkatesham K. told ANI, “One SPRF company and 6000 police officials have been deployed in the city to prevent any unlawful action. Whoever tries to forcefully close the market will need to face the action by Pune Police.”
Extra deployment of forces has been done across the city today. Firm action will be taken on any miscreants taking law into their hands #BharatBandh
– CP Pune City (@CPPuneCity) September 10, 2018
The shutdown is being supported by the opposition Rashtryia Janata Dal (RJD), Left Parties and Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM).
Hundreds of Congress and other opposition parties leaders and workers took to the streets since early Monday in different parts of Bihar.
Jan Adhikar Party Loktantrik workers block railway tracks in Patna’s Rajendra Nagar Terminal railway station in support to #BharatBandh that has been called by Congress and other opposition parties today over fuel price hike. pic.twitter.com/tFTmCOrXqe
– ANI (@ANI) September 10, 2018
Congress president Rahul Gandhi is marching towards Ramlila Maidan from Rajghat to protest against the fuel price hike.
– ANI (@ANI) September 10, 2018
At least 21 opposition parties, led by the Congress, are participating in the ‘Bharat Bandh’ today to protest the rise in fuel prices in the country and depreciation of the rupee. Congress president Rahul Gandhi joined protesters in Delhi this morning. Top opposition leaders like Sharad Pawar, MK 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 effect of the bandh is expected to be strong in states like Kerala, Karnataka and West Bengal. Schools and other institutions are likely to be closed in many states.
Firm action will be taken on any miscreants taking the law into their hands, tweets Commissioner Of Police, Pune City, Dr Venkatesham K, according to news agency ANI.
Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are leading the protests in Delhi’s Rajghat area.
Congress leader Randeep Surjewala said the nation would not tolerate the price hike any longer. He said the Modi government has to change. He said that PM Modi should know he is not the only leader.
Bus services of the North Eastern Karnataka Road Transport Corporation or NEKRTC in Kalaburgi are not operational today because of the Bharat Bandh called by the Congress over rising fuel prices.
Protestors in Karnataka’s Hubali began the Bharat Bandh by burning tyres.