Left, Right unite for Bharat Bandh tomorrow

New Delhi: The unprecedented hike in petrol prices has helped the Left and the Right to make common cause tomorrow for a nationwide protest, described by BJP and its allies as Bharat Bandh and by Left as All India Protest Day. This is the second time that the BJP, Left and other non-Congress parties will be coordinating their agitations since the last Lok Sabha elections to give the impression of a wider Opposition unity on issues concerning people.

A similar agitation against petrol price hike had happened on July 5, 2010. Mulayam Singh Yadav`s Samajwadi Party, which is supporting the UPA goverment from outside, has also given the bandh call tomorrow so has BJD in Odisha. Amid indications that the Opposition has also attempted to rope in some UPA allies, which have strongly protested the hike, BJP President Nitin Gadkari today asked parties like DMK- which has opposed the petrol price hike- to join the bandh tomorrow.

"The UPA government has increased petrol prices on 18 to 19 occasions. Now even the Rupee has fallen further. The situation is deteriorating in such a manner that we have reached the stage where we may have to pledge our gold again. We would like all parties, opposed to the petrol hike, to join our protest," Gadkari told reporters. DMK had threatened that it may think of withdrawing support to the Congress-led UPA government due to this petrol hike. However, later DMK Chief K Karunanidhi clarified that the party will oppose the move while staying within UPA.