Rahul Gandhi leads Opposition bandh, says ‘not a word from Modi ji on fuel prices’
Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence on the steep rise in the prices of fuel in the country as his party led a nationwide shutdown to protest the hike.
“Narendra Modi ji is silent, he has not spoken a word on rising prices of fuel, or condition of farmers, neither on atrocities against women,” Gandhi said.
“Hatred is being spread and the country is being divided under PM Modi’s rule,” he alleged.
“Aaj poora vipaksh yahan ek saath baitha hai. Hum sab mil kar ek saath, BJP ko hatane ka kaam karenge (The entire opposition is sitting together today. We will work together to remove the BJP),” the Congress president said.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party said the Bharat Bandh call by the opposition was an attempt to spread rumour and confusion among people. Union minister and BJP Janata Party leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the Congress party has been a “history-sheeter” on the issue of price rise whenever it was in power and is now shedding crocodile tears.
“’Bharat’ will not be ‘bandh’, it will keep moving and progressing. No one is paying heed to this call by the Congress. Their ‘Mahagatbandhan’ balloon will also burst soon,” Naqvi was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Gandhi led several opposition leaders as he kickstarted the country-wide protest from Rajghat in New Delhi. He reached Rajghat soon after his return from Kailash Mansarovar and paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi. The Bharat bandh began after Gandhi offered holy water from the pilgrimage.
Congress on Sunday claimed the support of 21 political parties and a number of chambers of commerce and traders’ associations for the bandh against the BJP government’s failure to take action to reduce the prices of petrol and diesel and reduce hardships to the common man.
A host of major opposition parties — the Left, Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal and DMK — have supported the bandh. The Left parties — the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)-Liberation, RSP and Socialist Unity Centre of India (SUC) — have given a separate call for bandh on the same day over the hike in fuel prices, the problem of farmers and unemployment issues.
The Congress has demanded that petrol and diesel should be brought under GST, by which oil prices could drop by about Rs 15 to Rs 18. Petrol and diesel prices set new records Sunday when petrol price was raised by 12 paise a litre and diesel by 10 paise per litre.
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