Fuel price rise not in our hands, says BJP amid Opposition's Bharat Bandh

The Asian Age.

India, All India

22 opposition parties are joining Congress in protest to corner Narendra Modi-led NDA government in the Centre.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi gave clarion call from Raj Ghat after paying homage to Mahatma Gandhi. (Photo: Twitter | @INCIndia)

New Delhi: The Congress has called for a nationwide shutdown or Bharat Bandh on Monday to protest rising fuel prices and depreciation of the rupee.

At least 21 opposition parties are joining the Congress in protest on Monday to corner Narendra Modi-led NDA government in the Centre.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi gave clarion call from Raj Ghat after paying homage to Mahatma Gandhi.

Apart from other opposition parties, the Congress has asked civil society groups to join their protest against the government. Congress leader Randeep Surjewala had said that the common man was bearing the burden of escalating prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas.

The Congress demanded that petrol and diesel should be brought under the ambit of goods and services tax (GST), by which oil prices could drop by about Rs 15 to Rs 18.

On Monday, petrol is sold Rs 80.73 per litre (increase by Rs 0.23 per litre) and diesel at Rs 72.83 per litre (increase by Rs 0.22 per litre) in Delhi.

Petrol was priced at Rs 88.12 per litre (increase by Rs 0.23 per litre) and diesel at Rs 77.32 per litre (increase by Rs 0.23 per litre) in Mumbai on Monday, the day Congress called Bharat Bandh over rise in fuel prices.

The rupee weakened to hit a fresh low of 72.64 against the US currency, falling 91 paise in late morning deals on Monday on rising crude oil prices, strengthening dollar and a widened current account deficit.

Here are updates from the Bharat Bandh over surging fuel prices:

03:44 pm: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu announces a reduction in petrol and diesel price by Rs 2 each, in the state. The new rates of petrol and diesel will come into effect from tomorrow morning and orders for the same will be issued later today.

03:30 pm: “Such remarks from BJP leadership tell you they are very arrogant, they are insensitive to the needs of people. When people are suffering, they are making it worse by such outlandish statements,” Congress leader Sachin Pilot on Rajasthan Minister Rajkumar Rinwa's statement.

03:25 pm: Pune Police arrests six Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) workers who were trying to forcefully close shops in the city.

02:30 pm: “Fuel prices are tied to crude oil prices in the world market. Government is trying. There are so many expenses... People don't understand that the crude prices are high and they should lower their other expenses," Rajasthan minister Rajkumar Rinwa told reporters.

12:57 pm: "The death of the child is not related to bandh or traffic jam, the relatives had left late from their home," SDO Jehanabad Paritosh Kumar on reports that a 2-year-old patient died after the vehicle was stuck in Bharat Bandhprotests called by the Congress and other opposition parties over rise in fuel prices.


12:46 pm: "Everyone has a right to protest but what is happening today? Petrol pumps and buses being set ablaze, putting to risk lives. A child died after an ambulance was stuck in the protests in Bihar's Jehanabad. Who is responsible?," Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on protests and nation-wide shutdown called by the Congress and other opposition parties over rise in fuel prices.

"Diesel, petrol price rise is out of our hands because oil producing countries have limited production... We're not saying we can't do anything. We're saying this is momentary trouble," Ravi Shankar Prasad added.

(Photo: Twitter | @ANI)


12:31 pm: Congress leader and 1984 riots accused Sajjan Kumar seen during Bharat Bandh protest in Delhi.

(Photo: Twitter | @ANI)


12:30 pm: Left leaders Sitaram Yechury and D Raja with AAP leader Atishi during Bharat Bandh protests in Delhi.


12:14 am: Congress workers carry a motorcycle on a bullock cart during Bharat Bandh protests in Delhi's Preet Vihar.

(Photo: Twitter | @ANI)


12:01 pm: "The BJP government is so proud of themselves that even today when the Opposition has called for a 'bandh' they have increased fuel price in some places. Government can even say that inflation will bring development," former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav said.

11:51 am: "Frustrated opposition doesn't have any strategy and leadership, what else can be expected from them? I hope God gives them sense so they can differentiate between positive and negative otherwise in future they will even lose their position as Opposition," Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and BJP leader Yogi Adityanath on Bharat Bandh called by the Congress and other opposition parties over rise in fuel prices.

11:50 am: "'Bharat' will not be 'bandh', it will keep moving and progressing. No one is paying heed to this call by the Congress, their 'Mahagatbandhan' (grand alliance) balloon will also burst soon," Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said on nation-wide shutdown called by the the Congress and other opposition parties over rise in fuel prices.

11:37 am: "Narendra Modiji is silent, he has not spoken a word on rising fuel prices, condition of farmers and on atrocities against women," Congress president Rahul Gandhi during Bharat Bandh protests in Delhi.

The Congress president said that the united opposition will defeat BJP in 2019 national elections.

"In PM Modi's rule, hatred being spread and country being divided," Rahul Gandhi alleged.

(Photo: Twitter | @ANI)

11:15 am: Congress workers in Madhya Pradesh vandalise a petrol pump in Ujjain during Bharat Bandh protest.


11:14 am: Bharat Bandh: MNS workers in Mumbai forcefully shut down shops and establishments at Baratmata Juction Naka in Parel.


11:02 am: Loktantrik Janata Dal workers in Patna carry a motorbike on their shoulders to protest against fuel price hike.

(Photo: Twitter | @ANI)

11:00 am: Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urged opposition parties to shed their differences and unite to save democracy in country.

"Modi govt has done a lot which is not in interest of nation, it has now crossed limits," said Manmohan Singh at Bharat Bandh protest in New Delhi called by opposition parties to protest against fuel price hike.

(Photo: Twitter | @ANI)


10:50 am: Jan Adhikar Party workers vandalise vehicles during Bharat Bandh protest in Patna against rise in fuel price.


10:19 am: East Coast Railway Zone has cancelled 12 trains including Bhubaneswar-Howrah Jan Shatabdi Express and Bhubaneswar-Visakhapatnam Inter City Express in the view of Bharat Bandh called by the Congress and other opposition parties against fuel price hike.

10:17 am: In Mumbai, Congress workers staged 'Rail Roko' at Andheri railway station against fuel price hike.



10:07 am: "The Modi government is stealing from the people of India with excessive taxes on fuel," Congress tweeted on Monday, the day it has called for Bharat Bandh against rising fuel prices. 



09:58 am: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has joined the Congress protests against the surging fuel prices.
AAP leaders Sanjay Singh and Somnath Bharti along with others marched towards Rajghat to protest against depreciating rupee and rise in fuel prices.


(Photo: Twitter | @AamAadmiParty)


09:47 am:  Congress workers in Chhattisgarh held protest in Raipur against fuel price hike.



09:44 am: Congress President Rahul Gandhi, NCP Chief Sharad Pawar and Sharad Yadav at Bharat Bandh protest against fuel price hike in Delhi.


(Photo: Twitter | ANI)


09:25 am: Bharat Bandh: Security has been tightened in Jaipur. "Precautionary measures have been taken. Police have been directed to take stringent actions against the protesters who will restore to violence during protests," said police.



09:02 am: Congress President Rahul Gandhi and leaders of the opposition parties march from Rajghat towards Ramlila Maidan, to protest against fuel price hike.


(Photo: Twitter | ANI)


08:57 am: Jan Adhikar Party Loktantrik workers blocked railway tracks in Patna's Rajendra Nagar Terminal railway station in support to Bharat Bandh.


(Photo: Twitter | ANI)


08:50 am: Protesters in Gujarat's Bharuch burnt tyres and stopped buses; traffic movement was halted in the city.


(Photo: Twitter | ANI)


08:47 am: UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi leading the Bharat Bandh protests against NDA in Delhi's Rajghat.


(Photo: Twitter | ANI)


08:38 am: Bus services of the North Eastern Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NEKRTC) in Kalaburgi are not operational on Monday because of the Bharat Bandh called by the Congress over rising fuel prices.


(Photo: Twitter | ANI)


08:06 am: CPI and CPM workers in Andhra Pradesh's Vishakapatnam protest against the fuel price hike.


(Photo: Twitter | ANI)


07:29 am: "Extra deployment of forces has been done across the city today. Firm action will be taken on any miscreants taking the law into their hands," Commissioner Of Police, Pune City, Dr Venkatesham K, tweeted.

07:25 am: Janata Dal (Secular)-Congress ruled Karnataka is supporting the Bharat Bandh. Schools and colleges in the state capital Bengaluru are closed on Monday. Public transport, cinema theatres, multiplexes among others. A host of organisations such as Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, KSRTC, BMTC, Ola and Uber Drivers and Owners Association, Auto Drivers' Association will support the Bharat Bandh in the state.

Also Read: Bharat Bandh: Bengaluru schools shut, no public transport today

07:24 am: In West Bengal, the ruling Trinamool Congress said that while it supported the issues related to increasing fuel prices, it would not support the Bharat Bandh called by the Congress. The reason, it stated, was that strikes like the Bharat Bandh would lead to a waste of working hours. Trinamool Congress Secretary General Partha Chatterjee had urged the Trinamool activists and common people to keep shops and establishments functional on Monday.

07: 22 am: The ruling BJD in Odisha has refused to support the Bharat Bandh called by the Congress. BJP also said that it was against the hike in fuel prices. The Odisha government has however, announced that all schools in the state would be closed on Monday to ensure the safety of students. 

07:20 am: Congress workers in Telangana hold protests in Yadadri Bhuvanagiri district's Bhongir and Musheerabad bus depot in Hyderabad, against fuel price hike.



07:18 am: Bharat Bandh: Protests being held in Odisha's Bhubaneswar by opposition parties against fuel price hike.


(Photo: Twitter | ANI)


07:00 am: Congress workers blocked a train in Sambalpur as Bharat Bandh has been called by the Congress and other opposition parties over fuel price hike.


(Photo: Twitter | ANI)