The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena and the Pawan Kalyan-led Jana Sena on Sunday announced their decision to join the September 10 nationwide protest called by the Congress in protest against the rise in fuel prices. The shutdown will be observed between 9 am and 3 pm in Kerala, Maharashtra, Karnataka, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Bihar and Haryana, News18 reported.
Fuel prices continued to rise on Sunday, a day after the Centre blamed external factors such as strengthening of the United States dollar and the policies of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries for the increase.
Petrol prices increased 12 paise across all metro cities on Sunday. In Mumbai, petrol now costs Rs 87.89 per litre as against Rs 87.77 on Saturday. In Delhi, the price of a litre of petrol is now Rs 80.50. A litre of diesel costs Rs 77.09 in Mumbai – an increase of 11 paise. In Delhi, diesel price rose from Rs 72.51 per litre to Rs 72.61 per litre.
“The country’s policies cannot be based on the whims and fancies of one person,” MNS chief Raj Thackeray said in a statement. He, however, acknowledged that global factors affect fuel prices. Thackeray asked his party workers not to damage public property.
In Bengaluru, all state-run transport corporations may suspend operations in support of the ban, The Times of India reported. Many educational institutions in the state have also decided to remain shut.
The Biju Janata Dal, the ruling party in Odisha, said it would neither support the nationwide strike nor oppose it. All schools in the state would remain closed to ensure the safety and security of students, it added.
“The Biju Janata Dal has been fighting against the price rise of petrol and diesel in the country and it is not for the first time that the country has seen such hike in fuel price,” said party spokesperson Sasmit Patra. “Congress which was sleeping for the last four-and-a-half years has suddenly woken up. Why has it woken up now?”
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam President MK Stalin on Friday said his party would participate in the strike. Stalin said the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Centre was not doing anything to stop the decline of the rupee or stop the fuel price rise. The Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Nationalist Congress Party have also pledged their support to the protest, News18 reported.
In a joint statement on Friday, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the Revolutionary Socialist Party, the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation and the Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist) announced their decision to join the protest.
The Trinamool Congress, however, has ruled out its participation in the demonstrations even as it claimed that it backs the Opposition’s position on the matter. “While they want to ensure the Congress-sponsored Bharat Bandh does not meet with success in West Bengal, they are organising protests against fuel prices hike on that date since they have to publicly protest against the draconian policies of the BJP government at Centre,” West Bengal Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury told PTI.
On Saturday, the Shiv Sena – the Bharatiya Janata Party’s ally in Maharashtra –
put up posters in Mumbai in protest against the fuel price hike.