The Congress party on Monday stepped up to take on the Narendra Modi government ahead of the 2019 general elections, with its nationwide protest against the spiralling fuel prices in metro cities. Senior party leaders, including Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi took part in the protest march from Rajghat to Ramlila Maidan in Delhi.
Addressing a sea of humanity that joined the protest rally, Congress president Rahul Gandhi slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his prolonged silence over rising petrol and diesel prices across the country. The Gandhi scion also accused Modi of turning a blind eye to the sufferings of farmers and widespread atrocities against women.
"Narendra Modi ji is silent, he has not spoken a word on rising prices of fuel, or condition of farmers, neither on atrocities against women," ANI quoted Gandhi as saying.
Referring to the grand alliance ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Gandhi said the United Opposition will throw the Modi government out of power and ensure development in all fronts of the Indian society.
Besides, former prime minister Manmohan Singh in his address during the September 10 bandh, said Modi government has done a number of things that were not in the interest of the nation. The time to change this government will come soon.
Modi government has done a number of things that were not in the interest of the nation. The time to change this government will come soon: Former prime minister Manmohan Singh at Congress & opposition parties protest against fuel price hike #BharatBandh pic.twitter.com/t4Fvf5X4G8— ANI (@ANI) September 10, 2018
Taking a dig at the Modi government, former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav said, "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". "The Government can even say that inflation will bring development," the Samajwadi Party (SP) leader mocks.
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 #BharatBandh pic.twitter.com/GRsfBwL7fb— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) September 10, 2018
Except for a few BJP allies and non-NDA parties most of the Opposition parties, including the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S), Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-M), Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), DMK, Trinamool Congress, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Maharashtra Navanirman Sena (MNS) extended their support to the 'Bharat bandh' called by the Congress.
The Opposition parties led by the Congress demand the Narendra Modi government at the Centre to bring petrol and diesel under the GST - a move that can reduce the fuel prices by Rs 15-18 per litre.