With the opposition storming the streets during Bharat Bandh, it must be seen whether the move will build pressure on Government to reduce the petrol prices or not.
A number of opposition parties have joined hands to launch a nation-wide protest against the rising fuel prices. Parties including Samajwadi party, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Trinamool Congress, Nationalist Congress Party, Rashtriya Lok Dal and even Maharashtra Navanirman Sena have supported the call for Bharat Bandh made by Congress. However, Aam Aadmi Party and Odisha’s Biju Janata Dal have stayed out of the opposition parties joining the Bharat Bandh. Shivsena, BJP’s ally in the center and state has expressed strong protest against the rising fuel prices, however, it has refused to join the protest too.
As on September 10, 2018, Petrol is at Rs 80.73/litre (increase by Rs 0.23/litre) and diesel at Rs 72.83/litre (increase by Rs 0.22/litre) in Delhi. In Mumbai, the Petrol is Rs 88.12/litre (increase by Rs 0.23/litre) and diesel at Rs 77.32/litre (increase by Rs 0.23/litre).
Congress president Rahul Gandhi returned from Kailash Mansarovar yatra and took a part in a protest march by opposition leaders from Rajghat to Ramlila Maidan. Addressing the crowd gathered there, he said that the United opposition will defeat BJP in the next general elections.
The ripples of Bharat Bandh could be seen in various parts of the country throughout the day. In Mumbai, former Maharashtra CM Ashok Chavan and Mumbai Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam were detained by the police following a Rail Roko at Andheri Station. Incidents of vandalization were also reported from parts of Bihar.
With the opposition storming the streets against rising in fuel price, it must be seen whether the move will build pressure on Government to reduce the petrol prices or not. HW News Brings you reactions from across party lines:
Nawab Malik, NCP Spokesperson:
“Definitely, the government has to take a decision to reduce taxes. What they are taking, it is absolutely a loot. In 2014, excise duty on Petrol was 6 rupees per liter. Today it is on 18 rupees. In 2014, excise on Diesel was 4 rupees a liter, today it is 15 rupees, that means it’s a loot. The prices of the fuel in the country did not go up due to price rise in crude, it is a loot by the center as well as Maharashtra. When pressure is mounted, the government has to take a decision. Yesterday, Rajasthan government has taken a decision. Pressure will definitely have some kind of impact. If they are not going to give any kind of a relief to the people of the country, definitely the people will speak and they will listen.”
Manisha Kayande, Shivsena Spokesperson:
“Well, the present government is very insensitive towards the people who are protesting and raising their voices against the fuel price hike. Today all the opposition parties are united and have called for a Bharat Bandh. Now, this shows the failure of the government first of all that people have to get together and protest. Now if the government is sensitive then they should understand the grievances of the people and at least give some relief or at least come out with a policy that includes Petrol and Diesel in GST. Because Petrol may be considered as some luxury commodity but what about diesel? All the transport depends upon that and because of it, essential commodities flare up. So, the fact that opposition had to unite itself shows that the government has failed on this front.”
“I think this is not Bharat bandh but a gimmick to revive the ‘bandh’ career of Rahul Gandhi. In fact, one of the outcomes of this Bharat Bandh is that a 2-year old girl called Gauri lost her life because goons who stopped the vehicles, smashed the buses, creating an obstacle for ambulances and they are trying to jeopardize the entire movement of Aam Adami. With this kind of behavior, the people of the country are not with the so-called Bandh. And the point is when Congress was in power for 10 years the fuel prices rose from Rupees 35 per liter in Delhi to Rupees 82 per liter in Delhi in September 2013 and it ended at around Rupees 75. So when there was 100% and 110% rise in fuel price, why didn’t Rahul Gandhi call for a Bharat Bandh then? Now, of course, the fuel prices have risen due to Venezuela and situation in other countries you don’t have much control over. But it is also a fact that three lakh crore rupees bonds were issued by the UPA government. UPA was actually clerking and not thinking about the long-term effects. In fact, it adopted a scorched policy whereby they were giving all kinds of subsidies and making sure that the oil companies have huge under-recovery. All of those bad loans, All of those NPAs that UPA created all of that need to be paid off and before relief to the Aam Adami could not be given.”
Shaan Illahi, Advocate, Congress Spokesperson:
“The prices of diesel and petrol are increasing every day, due to which the entire Hindustan is frustrated. It looks like we have to stop using the trains for a few days and we will have to walk on foot. The price of LPG is also increasing every month. The historical decline has been recorded in the rupee against the dollar. The public is frustrated with all these things, and it will take down the government. Modi ji helped a few industrialists and fooled the people of the country. The time has come for this government to go.”