Opposition parties, led by the Congress, are observing Bharat Bandh on Monday over rising fuel prices across the country.
The nationwide protest, which is being met with mixed responses, is likely to put further pressure on the BJP government that is feeling the heat of rising fuel prices and fall in the value of rupee at a time when the parliamentary election is on the doorstep.
What is Bharat Bandh?
The bandh was called by the Indian National Congress against the rising price of fuel across the country. The bandh will be observed today between 9 am and 3 pm to create minimal disturbance to the public.
The opposition parties across the country including DMK, NCP, RJD and the Left are supporting the Congress-led bandh. In all, over 20 opposition parties have rendered support for the bandh. However, Shiv Sena, that has been in loggerheads with BJP, has refrained from participating.
The main demands of the protesters
The opposition is demanding that the centre should immediately bring petrol and diesel under the goods and services tax (GST). Other demands include setting up of a joint parliamentary committee to probe the Rafale deal. The opposition is also raising questions on the depreciation of the value of rupee.
Reaction of BJP
The BJP has countered the opposition by targeting Congress. Calling the Congress a sinking ship, Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi warned that those who support it will sink along with it.
With next year’s parliamentary elections getting closer, the united front of opposition parties will look to build negative public opinion against the ruling BJP.
The saffron party, on the other hand, will now have to look for ways to tackle fuel price rise and rupee depreciation.
First Published: IST