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Tripura, Kerala strike against fuel price hike
Published on 2 Mar. 2010 11:54 PM IST
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Normal life in Tripura was badly affected Tuesday with the frontal organisations of the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) enforcing a one-day vehicular strike to protest the hikes in prices of petrol and diesel. Trade unions, including the Centre of Indian Trade Union (CITU) affiliated to the CPI-M, called the shutdown demanding rollback of the hikes. “Rejecting the Left parties’ demand to remove duty from the petroleum products, the union budget had raised central excise duty on the fuels from Friday midnight,” CITU Tripura unit general secretary Pijush Nag told reporters. He said: “Total success of the transport strike shows denouncement of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government’s decision to raise the fuel prices.” “When the common people are already facing the severe heat of price rise of essential commodities, the UPA government put a fresh burden on ‘aam admi’ (common man) by increasing duty on petroleum products,” Nag stated. With the increase in prices of petrol and diesel, rise in fares of various modes of public transport is imminent. Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in his budget for 2010-11 in the Lok Sabha Friday has restored basic duty on the fuels and raised central excise duty by Re.1. The CPI-M’s youth wing Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) since Friday has been organising rallies across the Left-ruled state protesting the “deprivation of the northeastern region in the central budget”. DYFI Tripura unit president Tapas Datta told IANS: “The protest demonstrations and rallies will continue. The DYFI will organise stronger agitation against the union budget in the coming days too.” Meanwhile, the dawn-to-dusk strike called by pro-Left transport sector unions in protest against the hike in fuel prices paralysed normal life in Kerala today. Reports from across the state said the strike created a “bandh-like” situation as Left parties and their affiliates also pledged support to the protest, demanding rollback of hike in duty on petroleum prices announced in the Union Budget. Private buses, trucks, taxis and autorickshaws kept off the road in most places. In northern districts of the state, shops remained closed in urban areas of many towns. Examinations scheduled for the day by the universities have been cancelled in view of the strike. However, no violence was reported from anywhere, police said.

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