Mumbai (The Hindu): Sanjay Nirupam holds meetings with traders, Ashok Chavan urges people to participate in protest.
A day after Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam appealed to the Shiv Sena and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) to support the party’s call for Bharat bandh on Monday, in protest against the rising fuel prices, the MNS on Sunday confirmed its participation.
MNS chief Raj Thackeray said, “Petrol and diesel prices have skyrocketed, and the common man is in anguish. To protest the hike, all parties have declared a bandh. The MNS extends its full support and will actively participate in it.” He asked his activists to ensure no public property is damaged and the common man doesn’t suffer. “We should ensure success of this bandh, so that the government in Delhi realises the mistakes it has committed,” he said. MNS leader Bala Nandgaonkar appealed to the people to participate in the protest by not stepping out of office till 5 p.m.
The Sena, which is a part of the government, has decided to stay away. The party’s Rajya Sabha MP, Sanjay Raut, said, “The Sena does not support the bandh. Opposition parties seem to have woken up late. They are welcome to protest and when they are unsuccessful, we’ll hit the streets.” However, posters put up by the Sena near its headquarters in Dadar criticised the BJP over its promise to bring acchhe din. The posters showed the prices of gas, diesel, and petrol in 2015 as Rs. 572.50, Rs.52.99, and Rs.64.60 and compared them with the current prices: Rs. 764.50, Rs .75.74, and Rs .86.72. A Sena leader said the party did not want to protest now as it was the festival season.
Mr. Nirupam on Sunday held meetings with traders in western suburbs, while Congress State unit chief Ashok Chavan urged people to participate in the bandh. While parties have clarified there will be no violent agitations, activists are likely to block roads, trains. The bandh has received support from the NCP, Peasants and Workers Party, MNS, Left Front, Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana, the Samajwadi Party and the Republican Party factions headed by Jogendra Kawade and Rajendra Gawai. The government, at the time of writing this report, had not issued an advisory to schools in the State.
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