The Congress on Sunday questioned the BJP's silence on issues such as rising petroleum prices, sliding rupee and the contentious Rafale deal as top leaders of the ruling party deliberated their strategy for the Lok Sabha elections.
“We are hearing only empty slogans from the BJP. It is very sad that the BJP National Executive did not discuss issues that directly affect the common man such as rising petrol, diesel prices, growing unemployment, corruption in Rafale,” Ajay Maken, AICC's senior spokesman, told reporters in New Delhi.
Maken's sharp attack came on the eve of the Congress' call for a 'Bharat Bandh' to protest against the rising fuel prices and the demand to bring petroleum products within the ambit of the GST.
Maken said 21 political parties including the Left parties, SP, NCP, DMK, have declared support for the nationwide shutdown call. “We have also received support from chambers of commerce, traders' associations, transport associations. We thank each one of them and urge everyone to support our call for shutdown,” Maken said.
Congress has called for a 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. nation-wide shutdown on Monday when senior party leaders are expected to protest at petrol pumps against the rising prices of petrol and diesel.
Congress had demanded that petroleum products be brought under the ambit of GST contending that such a move would bring down fuel prices by nearly Rs 15 per litre.
Maken appealed to Congress workers not to resort to violence during the shutdown period on Monday.
“I appeal all Congress workers to make the bandh violence-free. We are Mahatma Gandhi's party and we should not associate ourselves with any violence,” Maken said.
Meanwhile, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad briefing reporters on the proceedings of the BJP National Executive meeting on Sunday said, "I am here only to speak on what Prime Minister has spoken."
Prasad was asked questions on the fuel prices and the Bandh call given by the Opposition parties on Monday.