Monday’s Bharat Bandh, called separately by the National Democratic Alliance and the Left parties to protest against the fuel price hike, if successful, could play havoc with traffic across cities.
The bandh calls on the same day could be an attempt to maximise the impact, but the Left has made it clear that its bandh is different from the NDA’s.
The NDA, on its part, has chosen to paint it as an Opposition bandh: while JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav has explicitly said so, BJP president Nitin Gadkari has underlined that inflation is not a single-party issue.
Advani in fact gave credit to Yadav for bringing non-NDA parties to give a bandh-call.
The NDA brass met at senior BJP leader L.K. Advani’s residence on Sunday to chalk out a strategy for their nation-wide strike, which will leave essential services untouched.
“Knowing... the cascading effect of fuel price hikes on all commodities, the government, which claims it has the best economists of the country running the system, showed utter contempt for the concerns of the aam aadmi in whose name it sought votes just one year ago,” said an NDA statement.
“This may be the first time in history of the country’s politics that almost all political parties will participate in the Bharat Bandh,” Advani said after the meeting.
While the CPI(M) Politburo, in its statement said the protest action must serve as a “warning to the government, in a joint appeal, the four Left parties exhorted “workers, students, teachers and workers to join the strike”.
(With inputs from PTI)