Alliance partners Congress and JD(S) held protests at various places in the city, during Monday’s Bharat bandh called against rising fuel prices, while the BJP took strong exception to the same.
Hundreds of Congress workers led by party leaders including KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao and vice president Eshwar Khandre led a protest rally on bullock carts and bikes. The protestors culminated at the Mysore Bank circle, where Rao launched an attack on the Centre for the rise in fuel prices.
Likening Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Hitler, Rao said the Centre’s policies were adversely impacting the common man.
After demonetisation, Modi had inconvenienced the common man by effecting repeated hikes in petrol, diesel and LPG every day, he charged.
“Before Modi became the prime minister, he had said that the governments responsible for price rise should be hanged. But now why is he silent? Modi has turned a blind eye to the problems of the common man. The rise in fuel prices is having a cascading effect on the prices of foodgrains, vegetables and transportation,” he added.
JD(S) leaders and workers later took out a protest march to the Bengaluru Urban Deputy Commissioner’s office and submitted a memorandum to the deputy commissioner.
The state BJP, however, countered the bandh by terming it a “government sponsored” bandh.
Speaking to reporters, party state president B S Yeddyurappa said the government had violated a Supreme Court ruling by supporting the bandh, which was an illegal way of protest.
He charged that the Congress had indulged in a misinformation campaign against the BJP by resorting to half-truths ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
Yeddyurappa said that even though there had been an increase in prices of petroleum products in the international market by 73% in the last 14 months, the increase in India had been only 29.58%.
Addressing separate press conferences, former deputy chief minister R Ashoka and Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council Kota Srinivas Poojary blamed the government for bandh-related violence in the state.
They charged that youth Congress workers pelted stones at buses in Mangaluru and BJP workers were attacked in Udupi. Congress functionaries indulged in violence in Karwar, Bantwal and Ankola, they said.