Opposition parties Saturday hit the streets in many states enforcing strikes in Kerala, Orissa and West Bengal in protest against the government's decision to hike fuel prices and warned of more agitation unless there is a rollback.
Protests were also staged in Andhra Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh among other states.
JD-U chief Sharad Yadav appealed to all Opposition parties to unite and call a nationwide bandh to protest the petro price hike and got support support from the BJP.
In Kerala, a ruling LDF-sponsored dawn-to-dusk strike crippled normal life but passed off without any major untoward incident. Shops, business establishments and schools were closed and vehicles went off the roads. Only a few private vehicles and two-wheelers plied.
In West Bengal, ruling CPI-M's labour-wing CITU enforced a 24-hour transport strike demanding a rollback.
"We demand immediate withdrawal of the steep hike in prices of petro-products. CPI-M and Left Front are gearing up for agitations across the state to force the government to withdraw the fuel price hike," CPI-M central committee member Mohammad Selim told reporters in Kolkata.
Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee appeared to have justified the Left-backed strike saying "everyone has a right to protest" and stuck to her demand for a rollback.
All Opposition parties in Andhra Pradesh took to the streets protesting the steep hike in petro prices and organised rallies even as Chief Minister K Rosaiah said government would take a decision on July 1 on reducing the impact of the hike.
In Mumbai, senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde led an agitation of party workers protesting the price hike. The BJP also staged protests in Jammu and Kashmir and Chandigarh.
In Orissa, BJD, BJP, NCP and CPI members sought a resolution on the price hike in the assembly.
BJP hit the streets in Uttar Pradesh to protest the hike, prompting police to use water canons to disperse the protesters. In Lucknow, party MP Lalji Tandon alleged that by deregulating the prices of petroleum products the Centre had passed the control of essential commodities into the hands of private companies.
After a dharna, party leaders and workers attempted to march towards Vidhan Bhawan to protest against price rise, but were intercepted near by the police personnel. Agitated party workers attempted to break the cordon and march towards the Vidhan Bhawan, forcing the police to use water canons.
In Allahabad too hundreds of BJP workers, led by senior leader Keshrinath Tripathi, staged a demonstration and courted arrest.
In Tripura, the ruling Left Front called a dawn-to-dusk bandh in Tripura on Monday to protest the hike in prices of petroleum products.