Rahul leads Opposition’s ‘Bharat Bandh’ protest against fuel price hike

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New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi visits Raj Ghat to pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi before starting his protest march during Bharat Bandh called by Congress and opposition parties on fuel price rise in New Delhi on Sept. 10, 2018. (Photo: IANS)

New Delhi, Sep 10 : A united Opposition, led by Congress President Rahul Gandhi, on Monday staged a foot march here in support of a nationwide shutdown protest or ‘Bharat Bandh’ called by his party against rising fuel prices.

The 1.8-km march was held between Rajghat and Zakir Husain College.

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Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S), Trinamool Congress, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD), Rashtriya Lok Dal, All India United Democratic Front, Revolutionary Socialist Party and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) were among the opposition parties that participated in protest.

The Congress President paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at his memorial at Rajghat.

He also offered water at the memorial which he brought from Kailash Mansarovar yatra before joining other opposition leaders including Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ashok Gehlot, Anand Sharma, Ambika Soni, Ahmed Patel, Randeep Singh Surjewala, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Shailja Kumari, Meira Kumar, Jairam Ramesh; NCP’s Tariq Anwar, LJD’s Sharad Yadav and RJD’s Manoj Jha in the nationwide shutdown.

This was Gandhi’s first public appearance since he returned from the yatra. He had embarked on the yatra on August 31.

Delhi’s ruling AAP, which had refused to join the shutdown, also sent its leader Sanjay Singh.

The protest has been called by Congress and Left parties against the spiralling petrol and diesel prices which have reached record levels.

After the end of the march, all the opposition leaders gathered at an Indian Oil petrol pump near the Ramlila Maidan where UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh joined them.

Later, over 200 political leaders and supporters gathered at the ground from where Manmohan Singh and others spoke against the Central government over its failure to curb the price hike.

“The runaway prices of fuel and the free fall in the value of the Rupee shows that the Modi government has completely failed in managing the economy,” the Congress had tweeted earlier in the day.