Opposition calls all-India strike July 5

New Delhi, June 29 (IANS) The Left parties, AIADMK, Telugu Desam Party, Samajwadi Party, Biju Janata Dal (BJD), Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) and the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) Tuesday called for a countrywide dawn-to-dusk strike July 5 to protest against the fuel price hike.

The parties accused the Congress-led government of giving ‘another cruel blow’ to the people by removing controls over petroleum pricing and rising the prices of petrol, diesel, kerosene oil and cooking gas.

‘This (shutdown) comes after its (central government’s) refusal to take any effective step to curb price rise of food items and essential commodities which is causing suffering to the people,’ said a statement jointly issued by the Left parties here.

‘On top of the food inflation at nearly 17 percent and the general inflation rate in double digits, the Congress-led government has callously raised the fuel prices making the burden on the people unbearable,’ it said.

The statement was issued by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), Communist Party of India (CPI), Forward Bloc and Revolutionary Socialist Party.

‘The government is putting forth deceptive arguments to justify the hike and refuses to listen to the protests of the people. The only way for the people is to launch a powerful collective protest to compel the government to withdraw the hikes.’

‘Along with the Left parties, the AIADMK, the Telugu Desam Party, the Samajwadi Party, the Biju Janata Dal, the Janata Dal-Secular and the Indian National Lok Dal have decided to call for a countrywide hartal July 5. Discussions with some other secular opposition parties to join the hartal is on,’ the statement said.

‘We appeal to all sections of the people to register their protest by joining the hartal. The hartal will be from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. All essential services like supply of water, milk, electricity, hospital and emergency services will be exempt from the hartal,’ it added.

The central government Friday ended government curbs on petroleum pricing and hiked the prices of diesel, kerosene and cooking gas. The price of diesel went up by Rs.2 a litre, kerosene by Rs.3 a litre, cooking gas by Rs.35 per cylinder and petrol by Rs.3.50 a litre.

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