Punjab rural development minister Surjit Singh Rakhra on Tuesday dared the state Congress to join and support the nationwide protest against the petrol hike on May 31.
"If the party is really pro-people then it must join and support the bandh," he said. Rakhra, however, admitted that the high rate of VAT on petrol in Punjab was a cause of concern. He said he would take the matter with the party high command.
Addressing a press conference here, Rakhra said that the ruling alliance would hold a peaceful bandh in the state. "The inflation is touching double digit, rupee is falling and the country is inching towards recession. It has become difficult for the common man to meet both ends. We must wake up the Centre by observing this protest," he said.
Demanding subsidy from the UPA-led government, he said the Centre was misleading the nation.
"They claim that the petroleum companies are facing losses hence the steep hike. But in its recently announced results, the HPCL has posted a profit of 224 percent," said Rakhra.
He said that because of the recent scams, the country was slipping towards recession.