Congress on Saturday asked the Left Front government in West Bengal to withdraw cess and taxes imposed on petrol and diesel while stating that July 5 'Bharat Bandh' was "politically motivated".
"Diesel and petrol in West Bengal is higher than other states due to cess and other taxes imposed by the Left Front government. Their prices will be reduced by Rs 5 per litre if the state government withdraws cess, additional surcharge and additional sale tax," WBPCC president Manas Bhuniya told reporters.
Defending the Centre on the fuel price rise, he said it had acted under constraints due to rise in prices in the global market.
"The Congress is always concerned about the welfare of the common man. We are also aware of the impact of increase in fuel prices on the masses," he said.
Asked if the Congress would oppose the bandh, he said that his party would not go into confrontation which could lead to violence.
Bhuniya, who is the CLP leader said CPI(M) and BJP, which were ideologically different, had joined hands for the shutdown because of 'blind anti-Congressism'.
"We want alliance with the Trinamool Congress for the next assembly elections and discussions are on," he replied to another question.
The two parties were also working to defeat the CPI(M) in the July five assembly by-election to the Durgapur-I seat, considered a Marxist stronghold.
"I am overwhelmed by the way Congress and the Trinamool Congress are working hand in hand in the campaign to defeat the CPI(M) in the seat," Bhuniya said.