Kolkata, Jun 6: A 12-hour shutdown called by the opposition Trinamool Congress in West Bengal against the hike in fuel prices began today. This is the second day shut down in the state. Yesterday, the left parties called 12 hour shutdown in protest to UPA govenment decision to hike fuel price. The Trinamool Congress dubbed the fuel hike as 'unfortunate and unprecedented'. 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. On Thursday, a 12-hour shutdown was called by Left parties in West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura. 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. The Left parties have already announced a country-wide protest for August 20.
The Congress Party lead 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 prices of international crude. 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, the biggest hike in fuel prices in 12 years.
Government raised petrol prices by 5 rupees, diesel by 3 rupees and cooking gas cylinder by 50 rupees.