Congress president Rahul Gandhi kick-started the nationwide protests against fuel price hike by staging a sit-in demonstration at a petrol pump near Rajghat along with leaders from 20 political parties.
Former prime minister Manmohan Singh, former Congress president Sonia Gandhi, NCP leader Tariq Anwar, RSP leader N K Premachandran, AAP leader Sanjay Singh, RJD leader J P N Yadav, Loktantrik Janata Dal patron Sharad Yadav and RLD leader Jayant Chaudhary were among others who offered prayers at the Rajghat, memorial to Mahatma Gandhi.
Rahul, who returned from the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra on Sunday night, was seen offering water from the Mansarovar Lake at Rajghat.
Addressing the gathering, Singh said the Narendra Modi government has crossed all limits and now the time has come to change the government.
He urged all political parties to keep aside differences and unite to protect unity, integrity and democracy.
“We are listening to cries from every corner, from small businessmen, farmers and the youth … Modi government has failed completely to deliver on the promises he made to everyone,” Singh said.
“Across the country, political parties have joined these protests against rising prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas,” senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters.
Azad said, in a bid to display the unity among Opposition forces, leaders from all political parties have decided to stage sit-in protests near Rajghat.
The Left parties, led by the CPM, have also called for an all-India bandh to protest against the slowdown of the economy due to rising fuel prices, agrarian crisis, inflation and unprecedented fall of the rupee. A joint protest of the Left parties is being held at the Jantar Mantar.