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Oppn unity will extend to parliament: Sharad
Published on 5 Jul. 2010 11:01 PM IST
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: The united face of the opposition in Monday’s shutdown will be taken to parliament, Janata Dal-United (JD-U) president Sharad Yadav said.
Yadav said he would speak to various parties to chalk out a programme for a continued fight against the government.
“The unity achieved on the street is the real unity. I want to thank all parties who took part in the bandh. The fight against the government will continue in parliament,” Yadav told a press conference in the company of with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Nitin Gadkari here.
Yadav said the country had not witnessed such a united shutdown. “I was part of the (student) movement in 1974 and had travelled all over the country. Such a bandh from Kashmir to Kerala and from Kamrup to Kutch has never happened.”
Thanking people for their participation in the strike, Yadav said the government had left the people “to the mercy of the market or the weather”.
BJP chief Gadkari said the countrywide shutdown called by the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) against the fuel price hike was only a beginning and the protest will continue till the centre acts.
“The protest and struggle we put out today is a start, we will continue protesting for this cause till the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government rolls back the price hike,” Gadkari said.
Asked to react to union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee ruling out any roll back of the hike, he said: “He is saying he won’t roll back and we are saying we won’t stop protesting.
“We will keep fighting. It is the people’s struggle and it is the people who ultimately triumph,” the BJP chief said.
Gadkari also appealed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi to heed the common man and roll back the fuel price hike.
The JD-U chief said the pressure from the Left parties in the UPA’s first term had enabled it to take some constructive steps such as the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.
While thanking the media for its coverage of the bandh, he criticised it for what he termed disproportionate coverage of the wedding of cricket captain M.S. Dhoni and the suicide of model Viveka Babajee in comparison to issues concerning the common man.
The call for a nationwide strike had been given by the National Democratic Alliance, Left parties and many other non-UPA parties.
Earlier, in the day Gadkari and Sharad Yadav were detained and let off.
The government on June 25 lifted the pricing controls on petroleum. As a result, petrol went up by Rs.3.50 a litre, diesel by Rs.2 a litre, kerosene by Rs.3 a litre and cooking gas by Rs.35 per cylinder.

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