While the Left parties are organizing strikes, picketing, 'rasta roko' and rallies against the hike, the BJP and its allies declared the Bharat Bandh. This is a rarity that the Left and the BJP have come together to protest against a common cause also managing to rope in other non-Congress parties.
Among the major UPA allies that have offered support for the bandh are the Samajwadi party in UP and the Biju Janata Dal in Orissa. Yesterday (May 30) saw BJP President Nitin Gadkari urging UPA ally, the DMK to join Bharat bandh. The BJD and the SP demanded that there be a rollback in the petrol price soon.
Gadkari garnering support for the bandh has been quoted as saying, “The UPA government has increased petrol prices on 18 to 19 occasions. Now even the rupee has fallen further. The situation is deteriorating in such a manner that we have reached the stage where we may have to pledge our gold again. We would like all parties, opposed to the petrol hike, to join our protest.”
The Left parties in Andhra Pradesh, the CPI(M), CPI, Forward Bloc and RSP are also supporting the bandh. Kerala has chosen to ignore the bandh since they had already organized a bandh as soon as the announcement was made on the hike.
NDA convenor Sharad Yadav stated, “Their (UPA’s) argument that the government has no role in petrol price hike is an eyewash. The Opposition is united on the issue.”
CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat declared that they would continue their protests till the government rollbacks its hike that is hurting the common man.
In the capital, Narendra Modi’s confidante Sanjay Joshi will lead the protest near the Akshardham temple. Other important Central leaders are also expected to participate. The BJP unit in Delhi has claimed that more than 250 traders organisation in the capital has assured full support of their respective organisations for the bandh.