Congress Bharat Bandh evokes mixed response; BJP calls it failure

Petrol and diesel prices eye century household budgets clean bowled

Normal life was hit in some states Monday with offices and educational institutes remaining closed and vehicles off the roads during an opposition-sponsored Bharat Bandh in protest against rising prices of petrol and diesel.

"Congress party has never held Bharat Bandh before, we don't even believe in Bharat Bandh, but since the time Modi govt has come there has been a situation that led to this", said Congress leader Ashok Gehlot. The percentage increase was 20.5. The price of diesel increased by 15 paise; it is now Rs 77.47 per litre.

The government had in May this year - when petrol, diesel prices had reached their earlier peaks - said it is working on a long-term solution to reign in fuel prices when they reach uncomfortable levels.

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Similarly, it has also shared the increase in diesel prices and the percentage hike in 2004, 2009, 2014 and 2018 respectively. The government, he said, anticipates that global oil prices, which together with a drop in the value of rupee has been fuelling the fuel price rise to record levels, will moderate in coming days to take pressure off. Bharat Bandh evokes mixed response in Punjab, Haryana The nationwide call of Opposition-sponsored "Bharat Bandh" against rising fuel prices evoked a mixed response in Punjab, Haryana and Union Territory Chandigarh. Petrol in Mumbai scaled to Rs 88.12, up 23 paise, while diesel was priced at Rs 77.32, up 23 paise, on Monday. The price in other metros are: Delhi - Rs 80.73; Chennai - Rs 83.91; and Kolkata - Rs 83.61. BS Photo by Kamlesh Pednekar Hike in petrol price on the day oppn parties protesting shows govt's insensitivity: Akhilesh Samajwadi Party supremo Akhilesh Yadav said hike in prices of petroleum products on the day opposition parties staged "Bharat Bandh' shows government's "insensitivity" towards common people".

AIMTC's Gupta adds, "If they wish they can make our lives easier, now the small farmers are failing to cope with the price revisions every day, we are heavily reliant on this fuel, the changing prices not being put under a uniform ambit are hurting us the most, there has to be a rollback urgently".

Nonetheless, given the transportation cost, the fuel prices in Kerala are higher than even states where there is a higher sales tax. Petrol is being sold here at Rs 90.05 per litre. Rajasthan had also reduced the taxes on both, diesel and petrol. It is true, what he has done in four years had not happened in 70 years.

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