Twenty-one Opposition parties led by the Congress are holding a nation-wide 'Bharat Bandh' today to protest against skyrocketing fuel prices. The normal life was thrown out of gear as protestors blocked roads and highways at many places across the country. The nation-wide shut down also saw the participation of a some industry bodies and traders' associations.
Petrol and diesel prices scaled to an all-time high on Monday as the prices of the two fuels were jacked up by another 23 paise and 22 paise per litre, respectively. Congress has demanded that petrol and diesel be brought under the ambit of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which would push down fuel prices by about Rs 15-18.
The petrol price in Delhi has now shot up to Rs 80.73 per litre while diesel, too, touched a high historic high of Rs 72.83 a litre as oil prices in the international market continued to rise amid weakening rupee against the US dollar. Petrol in Mumbai scaled to Rs 88.12, up 23 paise, while diesel was priced at Rs 77.32, up 23 paise. The price of petrol touched Rs 89.97 per litre in Parbhani, Maharashtra, the highest in India.
The Centre currently levies excise duty of Rs 19.48 per litre of petrol and Rs 15.33 per litre on diesel whereas VAT varies from state to state. As the protest against rising fuel prices intensified, BJP chief Amit Shah met petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan in New Delhi.
Bandh supporters also blocked railway tracks in many parts. A number of long-distance trains were stopped at Patna, Gaya, Bhagalpur and Muzaffarpur.
The Congress party's protest March against the fuel price started from Rajghat at 8 am today. Rahul Gandhi, who is back from Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, is leading the protest. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government for failing to rein in fuel prices and inflation.
Read all the latest updates on BusinessToday.In's live blog on fuel price hike.
4:26 pm: There is no relief expected in near term as government wants rupee to stabilise. "Cutting excise tax is likely to cut development," government sources told India Today.
4:20 pm: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has announced a reduction in petrol and diesel price by Rs 2 each. The new rates of petrol and diesel will come into effect from tomorrow morning.
3.32pm: BJP President Amit Shah meets Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan in New Delhi over the rising fuel prices.
3.28pm: Some school buses were reportedly attacked by protesters in Pune. BJP MP Anil Shirole took to Twitter to attack the Opposition and said the incident shows "pathetic desperation of your leaders".
So called 'Opposition Parties' u have every right to protest but misguiding youth, targeting innocent school children, destroying public property & trying to instill fear in citizens for ur own cheap political gains is really deplorable. Shows Pathetic desperation of ur leaders pic.twitter.com/ioYcSWewfg- Anil Shirole (@AnilShiroleBJP) September 10, 2018
3.05pm: Shops shut, empty roads in Mumbai.
Shops shut, empty roads, this is how Mumbai's Dadar looks on the day of #BharatBandhSeptember 10, 2018
3.02pm: Congress workers vandalise a petrol pump in Ujjain.
September 10, 2018
2.55pm: Petrol pumps and buses being set ablaze, putting to risk lives. A child died after an ambulance was stuck in the protests in Bihar's Jehanabad. Who is responsible? asks Ravi Shankar Prasad.
Everyone has a right to protest but what is happening today? Petrol pumps and buses being set ablaze, putting to risk lives. A child died after an ambulance was stuck in the protests in Bihar's Jehanabad. Who is responsible?: Ravi Shankar Prasad,Union Minister #BharatBandhpic.twitter.com/UfvTn2P84U- ANI (@ANI) September 10, 2018
2.53pm: Narendra Modi used to roam the country and say, the prices of fuel are rising. Today he is the Prime Minister and says nothing: Congress President.
#Bihar: The death of the child is not related to bandh or traffic jam, the relatives had left late from their home: SDO Jehanabad Paritosh Kumar on reports that a 2-year-old patient died after the vehicle was stuck in #BharathBandh protests pic.twitter.com/mE8yQRuj2H- ANI (@ANI) September 10, 2018
Narendra Modi used to roam the country and say, the prices of fuel are rising. Today he is the Prime Minister and says nothing: Congress President @RahulGandhi at the #BharatBandh protests. #MehangiPadiModiSarkarpic.twitter.com/V0db4rJB1Z- Congress (@INCIndia) September 10, 2018
12.18pm: Modiji said that what didn't happen in 70 years, we will do in 4 years. Wherever he goes, he just goes to sow division: Congress President Rahul Gandhi.
12.13pm: Even today when the Opposition has called for a 'bandh', the government has increased fuel price in some places, says Akhilesh Yadav.
The BJP government is so proud of themselves that even today when the Opposition has called for a 'bandh' they have increased fuel price in some places. Government can even say that inflation will bring development: Former UP CM Akhilesh Yadav #BharatBandhpic.twitter.com/GRsfBwL7fb- ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) September 10, 2018
10.53am: People paying for Rs 4343 crore spent on these (PM Modi's) 'farzi' (fake) ads, says CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechuri.
Fuel prices allowed to soar, by a callous govt, making lives of ordinary Indians impossible. Most appropriate that Modi photos are at all petrol stations. But People paying for the ₹4343 cr spent on these farzi ads. Shameful. #BharatBandhpic.twitter.com/xuv7ddIslB- Sitaram Yechury (@SitaramYechury) September 10, 2018
10.48am: MNS workers taken into custody. Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam also arrested in Mumbai.
Dear Mumbai Police No use of ur bandobast at my residence anymore . Got out of house despite ur tamasha. Stop checking my building's cctv unit.#BharatBandh- Sanjay Nirupam (@sanjaynirupam) September 10, 2018
10.32am: Former PM Manmohan Singh says the government has crossed every limit, and "we will soon get a chance to change this government". "Everybody is worried, including farmers and youngsters. The government has failed to fulfill all the promises it made to the people of the India. We ask all the stakeholders to unite against the government, and it is only possible if we forget our small issues and the government's failures to the people."
10.16am: The rupee slumped to a fresh record low of 72.18 by falling 45 paise against the US dollar on strong demand for the US currency from importers as the greenback strengthened against other currencies overseas on upbeat jobs data. The sinking value of rupee will have a major impact on oil prices.
10.05am: Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje announced a four-per cent reduction in value-added tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel on Sunday, which will reduce their prices by Rs 2.5 per litre in the state. The decision will cost the exchequer Rs 2,000 crore and will provide the people a relief of Rs 2.5 per litre on petrol and diesel.
10.04am: The relaxation given by the Rajasthan government is mere showoff, says Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi.
कांग्रेस के विरोध और भारत बंद से डरकर राजस्थान सरकार द्वारा पेट्रोल-डीजल की कीमतों में 4% VAT की कमी महज चुनावी दिखावा है। सरकार भामाशाह योजना की तरह चुनाव के पहले जनता को फिर से गुमराह कर रही है।September 9, 2018
10.03am: The Congress party says the Modi government has looted Rs 11-lakh crore from the people of India in the past four years.
Tax on Petrol -
During Congress Govt - Rs.9.48 /litre
During BJP Govt - Rs.36.12 /litre.September 10, 2018
9.40am: AAP supports the Congress-led Bharat Bandh. AAP leader Sanjay Singh along with other AAP leaders visits Rajghat to protest against the deteriorating rupee value and fuel price hike.
9.21am: There is a strong discontent against the Centre government over its failure to manage the economy, CPI leader D Raja tells India Today.
9.19am: Rahul Gandhi pays his respects at Rajghat before joining protests.
9.17am: Protesters in Gujarat's Bharuch burn tyres and stop buses.
Petrol at Rs 80.73/litre (increase by Rs 0.23/litre) and diesel at Rs 72.83/litre (increase by Rs 0.22/litre) today in Delhi.September 10, 2018
9.05am: The runaway prices of fuel and the free fall in the value of the Rupee shows that the Modi Govt has completely failed in managing the economy, says the Congress party.
9.03am: Jan Adhikar Party Loktantrik workers block railway tracks in Patna.
Jan Adhikar Party Loktantrik workers block railway tracks in Patna's Rajendra Nagar Terminal railway station in support to #BharatBandh that has been called by Congress and other opposition parties today over fuel price hike. pic.twitter.com/tFTmCOrXqe- ANI (@ANI) September 10, 2018
8.50am: Congress President Rahul Gandhi joins Bharat Bandh protest against the fuel price hike.
Delhi: Congress President Rahul Gandhi arrives at Rajghat to join bandh protest against fuel price hike pic.twitter.com/E79Dj4Hg3C
- ANI (@ANI) September 10, 2018