Kolkata/ Hyderabad/ Bhubaneswar, June 6 : A 12-hour shutdown began today in West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa against the hike in fuel prices.
The Trinamool Congress, who dubbed the fuel hike as 'unfortunate and unprecedented', has called a shutdown in West Bengal.
Trinamool Congress chief Mamta Banerjee said the common man, oppressed by the abnormal price hike of essential commodities, would be further burdened.
She also lashed out against the Central Government demanding that it should quit.
In Andhra Pradesh, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) called for a state-wide shutdown in protest against the hike in fuel prices.
Top leaders of the opposition TDP, the Left Parties, the Telengana Rastra Samithi (TRS) and the BJP will participate in demonstrations during the shutdown.
In Orissa, the Left Parties have also called a shutdown. The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) has extended its support to the shutdown call.
The Central Government's decision to hike fuel prices, the biggest hike in 12 years, led to strong reactions from across the political spectrum.
The Left parties have already announced a country-wide protest from August 20.
The Congress-led UPA Government, however, justified the hike, saying that the decision was unavoidable following mounting losses to public sector oil companies due to three-fold increase in international prices of crude oil.
According to experts, the inflation is expected to rise up to 10 per cent due to rise in the fuel prices.
The government had on Wednesday announced an increase in the prices of petrol and diesel by about 10 per cent and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) by 17 per cent.
Government raised petrol prices by 5 rupees, diesel by 3 rupees and cooking gas cylinder by 50 rupees.