New Delhi: 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.
Here are the top 10 updates on Bharat Bandh:
- Schools and colleges are closed in Bengaluru today after the ruling JD(S) announced it will support the day-long nationwide protest. Schools in Odisha too are closed today though Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s party has refused to back the shutdown.
- Uber and Ola drivers groups, Auto Drivers’ Association and other organisations such as Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, KSRTC, BMTC too will lend their support to the Bharat Bandh in Karnataka.
- The ruling Trinamool in West Bengal has expressed support on the issues on which the shut down has been called, but said it was against any kind of strike in the state according to the stated policy of party supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
- Protests began in the morning in different parts of the country.
- Protesters in Karnataka’s Hubballi burnt tyres.
- “We demand that petrol and diesel be brought under the ambit of the GST. High prices of petrol and diesel found no mention in the BJP’s national executive meeting because they are not bothered about the pain of public,” Surjewala said.
- In Tamil Nadu, DMK leader MK Stalin said the centre is not doing anything to halt the rupee’s slide against the dollar or to control the fuel prices.
- The Congress has urged party workers not to indulge in any violent protest. “I appeal to all Congress workers to make the bandh violence-free. We are Mahatma Gandhi’s party and we should not associate ourselves with any violence,” party leader Ajay Maken said.
- Petrol and diesel prices set new records Sunday. According to the price notification issued by state fuel retailers, petrol price was raised by 12 paise a litre and diesel by Rs 10 paise per litre on Sunday.
- On Sunday, the Rajasthan government announced tax cuts on petrol and diesel.
(With inputs from PTI and IANS)