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Akali Dal to join all-India strike July 5

Chandigarh, June 30 (IANS) The ruling Shiromani Akali Dal in Punjab Wednesday announced that it will join the July 5 all-India strike called by major opposition parties to protest against the hike in fuel prices and rising prices in the country.

Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal appealed to the people to participate in the strike ‘as a forceful, democratic expression of widespread public outcry against the alarming rise in prices of essential commodities and the decision of the government to drastically hike the prices of diesel, petrol and other petroleum products in the country’.

Badal, who is also Punjab’s deputy chief minister, declared his party’s strong opposition to the decision of the central government to de-control petroleum prices.

‘This is certain to take the already alarming inflation in the country to unprecedented levels and break the back of the common man, already reeling under the impact of raging inflation,’ he said.

Badal said the Congress government, which claimed to be the party of the ‘Aam Admi’ (common man), had been completely exposed due to its policy of double-speak by hiking the prices of petroleum products.

He said that the fuel price hike would hit the farming community in Punjab, the state that contributes over 50 percent of the total food grains to the national kitty.

The entire opposition Tuesday called for a nationwide shutdown July 5 against the fuel price hike, marking the first unified showdown with the government since the Congress returned to power last year.

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