Eight non-Congress and non-BJP parties have decided to call for a nationwide-bandh on September 20 against a clutch of government decisions to allow FDI in multi-brand retail, disinvestment in navratna companies, hike in diesel price and cut in subsidy on gas cylinders.
With NDA also all set to call for a bandh on the same day it is expected to be a success. NDA and the eight parties are coordinating informally. In a joint statement, the eight parties have appealed to the people to rise in protest against “anti-people measures”.
Appeal has been made to farmers, workers, women, youth, transporters, traders organizations to join the bandh through hartals, picketing, demonstration and courting arrest. “We will not let government function till the decision in FDI in multibrand retail is rolled back. Government’s FDI decision is going to ruin livelihood of more than four crore people,” a senior Left leader said, adding a nationwide coalition is being created.
The statement, signed by HD Deve Gowda (JD-S), Mulayam Singh Yadav (SP), Prakash Karat (CPM), Naveen Patnaik(BJD), Sudhakar Reddy (CPI), Chandrababu Naidu (TDP) and leaders of Revolutionary Socialist Party and Forward Bloc, said the UPA government has “stuck cruel blows on the people one after another”. They listed out “anti-people” measures like hike in the price of diesel by Rs 5 per litre that would “stoke price rise and burden the farmers”,limiting the number of subsidized gas cylinder per family to six a year and the rest to be bought at market price which is more than double.
Upset with the Centre’s decision to allow 51% foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail, traders’ associations in the country have called a nationwide strike on September 20. Traders say, the decision will have an adverse impact on the business of nearly five crore traders.