New Delhi: The opposition parties will hold a
nationwide strike Thursday demanding a rollback of the
government's decision to hike diesel prices, cap subsidised
cooking gas cylinders and allow foreign direct investment in
The government last week hiked diesel prices by Rs.5 per litre,
decided to cap subsidised cooking gas cylinders at six per
household per year and allowed 51 percent foreign equity in
Workers of the Samajwadi Party, the Communist Party of
India-Marxist (CPI-M), the Communist Party of India, the Telugu
Desam Party, the Biju Janata Dal, the Janata Dal-Secular, the All
India Forward Bloc and the Revolutionary Socialist Party have
plans to organise picketing, demonstrations and court arrest, said
a CPI-M release.
The Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Front will also
hold a 'bharat bandh'. "It will be a grand success," BJP
spokesperson Prakash Javadekar told reporters.
The government's decision on economic reforms has divided the
Congress-led United Progressive Alliance.
While UPA ally Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee Tuesday
announced a decision to pull out of the government, another
coalition partner DMK would join the protests against the centre's
According to the CPI-M release: "The Manmohan Singh government had
announced the FDI in retail trade, sharply increased the price of
diesel, limited the supply of cooking gas cylinders and initiated
disinvestment in some of the top public sector enterprises. These
policies and measures are totally against the interests of the
people of the country."
"None of these measures have the support of the parties across the
political spectrum. It is clear now with the stand taken by the
allies of the Congress in the UPA that a majority of the members
of parliament are against these policies," said the party.
The SP supports the UPA from outside but is opposed to FDI in
"We will protest all over Uttar Pradesh," Samajwadi Party leader
Mohan Singh told IANS.
The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) also called for a "Bharat
Trade Bandh" to coincide with an opposition-sponsored all-India
"There will be no commercial activity tomorrow (Thursday) across
the country," CAIT said here.
The day will be marked by demonstrations and street protests. More
than 25,000 trade associations will observe a shutdown, CAIT said.
In Delhi, a CAIT protest at Jantar Mantar will be attended by
opposition leaders including Janata Dal-United chief Sharad Yadav,
BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi, CPI-M general secretary Prakash
Karat and CPI leader A.B. Bardhan.
Some private schools in the national capital advised parents not
to send their wards Thursday keeping in mind the strike.
Delhi Police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat said adequate force will be
deployed across the city to avoid any untoward incident.