Petrol price hike: NDA, Left call bandh
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In a statement, senior BJP leader L K Advani said they had decided to organise a day-long peaceful protest, including a bandh in the entire country, on May 31. "I appeal to the people of the country to fully cooperate and participate in this peaceful protest," said Advani.
He said the hike will only create further miseries and discomfort to people who are already suffering great difficulty because of severe price rise going unabated under the UPA government. "In fact, the government has completely run out of ideas as far as management of inflation, particularly food inflation, is concerned," said Advani. "In the history of the country, there has never been such a steep rise on a single day in the price of petrol," he said.
Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray also called for opposition parties to unite to protest against the hike. Left parties CPM, CPI and RSP, in a separate press statement, said the hike was a "savage attack on the people". "In order to build a sustained movement to demand a rollback of price hike, Left parties have decided to observe an all-India protest day on May 31," it said.
Sources in the Opposition camp said efforts were on to rope in UPA allies Trinamool and DMK, who have opposed the hike, to support the bandh. The Trinamool, in fact, organised protests in Kolkata, one of which was led by Railway Minister Mukul Roy. Sharad Yadav has also talked to SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, while attempt is on to take BJD and AIADMK also on board, the sources said.
Meanwhile, Congress-led governments in Kerala and Uttarakhand, in order to cushion the impact, waived the tax on the additional amount to bring down the fuel price by up to 25 per cent of the hike.
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