Bharat Bandh evokes mixed response in isles

Public life normal * Opposition rallies against Modi govt.
Report by: 
ROOPA LALL
Port Blair
10 Sep 2018

The nation-wide shutdown called by the All India Congress Committee, Left parties and DMK against fuel price hike evoked mixed response in these islands on Monday. In the city, most of the shops and markets remained open while transport services functioned normally. Commuters, however, had to suffer in some parts of the city as autowallahs remained off the roads in support of the Bandh. Public life, functioning of government, private offices and schools were normal in the city and most parts of these islands. In inter-islands, the Bandh found support from traders in areas like Hut Bay, Rangat, Bakultala and some other places where traders kept their shutters down during the shutdown. Public meetings were held in different places and adequate police bandobast was made to prevent any untoward incident. The Pradesh Congress Committee along with leaders from DMK and CPI(M) staged a massive dharna near the Petrol Pump at Goal Ghar. The President, Pradesh Congress Committee, Mr Kuldeep Rai Sharma, Chief Organizer of DMK, A & N Islands, Mr AR Marudhavanan, CPI(M) leader, Mr KG Das, Chief Spokesperson of Pradesh Congress Committee and other leaders were present on the occasion.
Launching a scathing attack on the ruling government, Mr Sharma blamed the anti-people policies of the BJP led NDA government for the exponentially rising prices of petroleum products and unprecedented economic burdens being mounted on the people. “Since advent of current BJP led NDA government at Centre, the prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas are skyrocketing whereas the government remains undaunted, unaffected and silent. Compelled by such attitude of the central government, this nationwide protest is launched by the Congress party to make the Modi led NDA Government realise the problems of the poor and common people of the country,” said Mr Sharma. When crude oil prices were rising in the international market during the UPA regime, taxes were reduced to take the burden off the people. But the present government despite low cost of crude oil in the international market compared to UPA regime, preferred to tax the people by increasing the excise duty on petrol by 211% and that on diesel by 443% since May 2014 and amassed profit of Rs. 11,00,000 crores. The Union Government boasts of implementing ‘One Nation One Tax’ policy, then why diesel and petrol are not brought within the ambit of GST? If done, the cost of petrol and diesel will get reduced at least by Rs 10 to 15 per liter giving some relief to the common man,” claimed Mr Sharma.
Senior Congress leaders Smti Shanta Singh, Mr P.K. Haldar, Mr G. Bhaskar, Mr Noor Islam, Mr Tamil Selvam,  Ms Mariyam Bibi,  Smt Zubaida Begum, Smt Malti Mondal, Mr Gyan Prakash Krishna,  Mr AR  Manickam, Mr Subir Chander and Smt Saraswati Narayan also addressed the gathering.. Slamming the Narendra Modi government against the sky rocketing fuel prices and depreciating value to rupee, the Chief Spokesperson of Pradesh Congress Committee, Mr K Ganeshan said that the Union government seems least bothered about the pain of public. “The government has failed to deal with the vital issue of unprecedented increase in prices of petrol, diesel & cooking gas adversely affecting the lives of the common man across the country,” said Mr Ganeshan speaking to EOI.
In his address, Mr KG Das of  CPI (M) party stressed on the need for joining hands to fight against the anti-poor and anti-people policies of NDA Government and also to wipe out the BJP in the next  parliamentary election. The NDA government came to power promising employment to the   youth  of  India. However, due to wrong economic policies, several small & medium industries have closed down which has   further escalated unemployment, said Mr Das.  Mr A.R. Marudhavanan, State Chief Organiser, DMK party and other senior leaders such as  Mr Senthil, Mr Kannan Senior leader,  DMK, Mr Ravichandran, State Organizer, State DMK Youth Wing highlighted the difficulties  being faced by the common people due abnormal hike of Petrol, Diesel and cooking gas.  The  speakers  have also   emphasized the need for  organising  such joint protests against the  anti-poor, anti- farmer  policies of NDA Government.