As the Congress' nationwide protest against rising fuel prices since mid-August has reached its way to Karnataka, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) decried the Bharat Bandh, terming it a 'Congress-JD(S) sponsored bandh' in the state.
“We urge the common man and all small-time traders to not fall for the false claims being made by the Congress and its partner, JD(S) and thwart the bandh call given by the ruling coalition,” BJP general secretary and MLC N Ravikumar stated.
Accusing the HD Kumaraswamy government of imposing higher tax rates in Karnataka, Bengaluru central MP P C Mohan said the coalition government of Congress and JD-S has levied tax rate of Rs 24.99 as opposed to Rs 6 in Delhi.
"Let the Kumaraswamy government reduce the burden on the state consumers to bring down the fuel prices," the BJP MP added.
The BJP's statement came after former prime minister and national president of JD-S HD Deve Gowda promised his support to the bandh called by the Congress.
Deve Gowda said it was a matter of serious concern that rising fuel prices are hurting the common man and that regional parties will support the bandh call given by the Congress. “We will support the bandh and wherever JD-S is strong in those places party is ready to support the bandh and our party activists will take part in the agitation," Gowda was quoted as saying.
Amid intensifying protest against rising fuel prices across India, the North Eastern Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NEKRTC) shut their bus services in Kalaburagi. The southern state of India woke up to isolated streets with all kinds of business establishments, communications, shops, educational institutions remaining closed on Monday.
Kalaburagi: Bus services of North Eastern Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NEKRTC) aren't operational today as #BharathBandh has been called by Congress and other opposition parties against fuel price hike. #Karnataka pic.twitter.com/raLOb95uuR— ANI (@ANI) September 10, 2018
Except for few BJP allies, most of the Opposition parties have extended their support in the September 10 'Bharat bandh' called by the Congress. Some non-NDA parties, which did not take part in the protest are the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Trinamool Congress Party (TMCP).
The parties said they differed on the issue of the strike with the pro-bandh political parties, but will take out protest marches to protest the spiralling fuel prices across India.
The Congress and the other Opposition parties are demanding the Modi government to bring petrol and diesel under the GST - a move that can reduce the fuel prices by Rs 15-18 per litre.