New Delhi: In amid huge rising on fuel prices, The Congress on Thursday called a Bharat Bandh on September 10 to protest against the rising fuel prices and claimed that the nationwide shutdown, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., was being supported by most of the Opposition parties.
"As far as support from other Opposition parties are concerned, most of them have expressed support. Trinamool has said they will support the agitations but won't give a bandh call. We are yet to talk to the Bahujan Samaj Party and a few other smaller parties with whom we will speak tonight. But we are hopeful that everyone will support," Congress treasurer Ahmed Patel said at a press conference.
"This is a people's issue and the Left parties are already agitating about them. We will be supporting the bandh," said CPI national secretary D. Raja.
Stating that the common people were reeling under steep petrol and diesel prices as well as cooking gas, Congress’s communication in-charge Randeep Surjewala appealed to "citizens, activists, NGOs and every section of the society to join the people’s movement."
He alleged that the Modi government had collected Rs.11 lakh crore in taxes such as excise duty since May 2014 and described it as "fuel loot."
"The Congress has decided that we will give a call for Bharat Bandh on Monday, in order to highlight the Rs.11 lakh crore fuel loot and to demand an immediate reduction in central excise duty as also excessive VAT in the state," he said.
Mr. Surjewala said the Congress president Rahul Gandhi since last year had been demanding to bring petrol and diesel under the ambit of the goods and services tax (GST) as fuel prices had burnt a hole in a common man's pocket and budgets have gone haywire.
The decision came after a series of separate meetings of Congress general secretaries, Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) presidents and State-level treasurers. The meeting was coordinated by Mr. Patel and former Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.