Petrol in Delhi Beyond Rs 80 Mark, Oppn Calls for Bharat Bandh

The price of petrol in Delhi on Sunday was Rs 80.50 per litre, while that of diesel was Rs 72.61 per litre. 

3 min read
Fuel prices have increased by 7.3% in the past month and a half, despite a stronger rupee and falling crude prices. 

The fuel rates continued to soar, hitting a new high on Sunday, 9 September, with the price of petrol rising to Rs 80.50 per litre, and the price of diesel reaching Rs 72.61 per litre in Delhi, representing increases of 12 paise and 10 paise respectively. On Saturday, the petrol price in the national capital breached the Rs 80/litre mark.

In Mumbai too, the petrol price rose by 12 paise to reach Rs 87.89 per litre on Sunday, while the diesel price was at Rs 77.09 per litre.

The surge in fuel prices is largely attributed to the rise in crude oil prices and high excise duty in the country. Except for relief on Wednesday, 5 September, petrol and diesel rates have gone up every day since 26 August in Delhi, the Economic Times had reported.

Congress Calls For Bharat Bandh

Calling the steep rise in diesel and petrol prices as ‘fuel loot’, the Congress on Thursday called for a ‘Bharat Bandh’ on 10 September, saying it was in touch with other parties for their support, IANS reported.

The party once again raised a demand for petrol and diesel to be brought under Goods and Services Tax (GST). The government had earlier rejected the demand, saying most states were opposed to it. At a press conference in Delhi on 6 September, Congress leader Ashok Gehlot said:

“Many promises were made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi before coming to power in 2014, but none were kept. When questions were raised by Congress President Rahul Gandhi about the Rafale fighter deal and Amit Shah’s son, those too went unanswered.”

On Saturday, the Shiv Sena put up posters in Mumbai to protest against the fuel price hike.

Petrol in Delhi Beyond Rs 80 Mark, Oppn Calls for Bharat Bandh
(Photo Courtesy: ANI)

DMK, MDMK Extend Support

On Friday, the DMK announced it would extend its support to the Congress party's nationwide shutdown, adding that it would play an active part in making it a success.

Conveying his party’s “whole-hearted support”, party president MK Stalin said the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) would “enthusiastically take part and cooperate to make the shutdown a complete success.”

Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) on Saturday extended its support to the Bharat Bandh call as well, ANI reported.

Trinamool Congress to Rally in West Bengal

The Trinamool Congress on Friday said it supported the issues raised by political parties that had called for a nationwide shutdown on 10 September. However, it added that it will hold protest rallies in West Bengal instead of strikes since these lead to a waste of working hours, IANS reported.

“We support the issues raised by them. But at the same time, we do not want to waste another working day, especially when our Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is trying to build a new Bengal. This kind of strike or bandh will certainly stop progress and lead to loss of earnings for the state’s people.”
Trinamool Congress Secretary-General Partha Chatterjee to Reporters

‘Teach BJP Govt a Lesson’

DMK chief MK Stalin urged all sections of people, including government employees, teachers, traders and state transport corporation workers, to voluntarily support the bandh to “teach the BJP government a fitting lesson.”

It was a matter of concern and anguish that fuel prices were rising fast to touch the Rs 100 per litre mark, he said in a statement, adding that even when crude prices fell, the Centre had not passed on the benefit to the people.

Accusing the BJP government of not being bothered about the public or their purchasing power, he alleged that the Centre did not take any steps to rein in the “dangerous and unprecedented” fuel price rise and stop the slide of the rupee against the dollar.

Stalin accused oil marketing companies of putting the hike in fuel prices on hold only during elections in states favourable to the BJP, and increasing it after the conclusion of polls.

He said the government has "pushed the people to the streets" to protest against the price rise.

(With inputs from PTI, IANS)

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