Bhubaneswar: Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Niranjan Patnaik on Sunday appealed to the common man to support the Bharat bandh on Monday to be observed in protest against the rising petrol and diesel price and make it a grand success.
The party will observe the bandh from 6 am to 3 pm. Business establishments and market will remain closed during the bandh observation and movements of trains and other vehicles will be obstructed.
The OPCC has made it clear that emergency services like ambulances and medical stores and students will be excluded from the agitation. On the other hand, the state government has declared that all schools across the state would remain closed on Monday as a preventive measure. However, government employees have been asked to reach offices by 9.30 am.
As part of bandh observation, the MLAs belonging to the Congress party will remain absent in the assembly on Monday, the OPCC chief said. He requested the general public to support the bandh.
“The party supporters will picket at different places from 6 am to 3 pm and create awareness among the people about their purpose,” Patnaik said. He added that the Left Front has also extended support to the bandh.
Speaking at a press conference, Patnaik said, “The Centre continues to increase the fuel price. In the past four and a half year, the Centre has looted the gullible public of Rs 11 lakh crore as tax. After BJP came to power, tax has been increased 12 times. In May 2014, the non-subsidized LPG gas cylinder was Rs 414, now it has increased to Rs 754.”
“Our demand is to bring diesel and petrol under GST regime, but the Centre is reluctant to do so. Consequently, the diesel and petrol price is skyrocketing. Similarly, the price of cooking gas is also rising. It is resulting in rise in the price of consumer goods,” Patnaik said.
The CPI and CPM also call for country-wide strike protesting the alleged anti-people policy of the Centre on Monday. The parties will observe 12-hour bandh from 6 am to 6 pm. The SUCI, CPI (LM) and other organizations will also join the strike.