Kolkata/ Thiruvananthapuram/ Agartala, Jun 5: The 12-hour shutdown called by Left parties in West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura against the hike in fuel prices began today. The bandh severely affected flight schedules in West Bengal. All flights to and fro from the state is cancelled. Opposition Trinamool Congress has called for a state-wide shutdown tomorrow.
The Central Government's decision to hike fuel prices, the biggest hike in fuel prices in 12 years, led to strong reactions from across the political spectrum. Trinamool Congress chief Mamta Banerjee lashed out against the Central Government demanding that it should quit. Left disapproved the government's decision to hike the fuel prices. They have planned to call a massive strike on August 20 against the price hike.
"We totally disapprove the decision of the government. In fact, we condemn this decision. The Government should withhold this decision. Had the government considered meaningful suggestions by the Left parties, this could have been avoided," said D Raja, National Secretary, Communist Party of India.
Scores of activists of Left Socialist Unity Centre Of India (SUCI) took to streets in Kolkata, forming a human chain and blocking the vehicular traffic.
The protesters also burnt an effigy of LPG cylinder and condemned the government for raising the prices of petrol, diesel and LPG, terming the hike as exorbitant.
The Central Government on Wednesday upped the price of petrol by Rs 5 a litre and that of diesel by Rs 3 a litre. The price of a Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) was increased by Rs 50 a cylinder.
The bandh affected traffic movement as almost all vehicles went off the roads. Shops, markets and educational institutions remained closed.