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NDA today declared a Bharat Bandh on May 31 against the steep hike in petrol prices and spiralling prices of essential commodities. Senior BJP leader L K Advani announced the decision in his capacity as acting chairman of the NDA, party spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters here.
He said there was widespread anger among people over the way petrol price has been increased. The hike is an anti-people move by the government, Prasad quoted Advani as saying. “We appeal to the people to make it a great success by conveying their profound anger and protest against this decision,” Advani said, adding the call for bandh was given after consulting all allies in the NDA.
Asked if BJP-ruled states will waive VAT on petrol, like the Parrikar government did in Goa to benefit consumers, Prasad said the problem was with the bad governance at the central level. NDA convenor and JD-U President Sharad Yadav said in Delhi that the alliance will talk to other parties also to elicit their support to the bandh.
He trashed government’s argument that the hike was done by petroleum companies as the pricing of petrol was deregulated, saying, “This is an eyewash…” He asked why the hike was not announced when Parliament was in session and why oil companies did so the very next day after the session got over. “The government will also be increasing prices of diesel and LPG after the Presidential elections are over,” he said. The JD(U) chief also accused the government of being a “total failure” in checking prices of essential commodities.
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