The Opposition parties and UPA supporters, the Samajwadi Party and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, claimed “massive response” to their calls for protest on Thursday against hike in diesel price, cap on LPG cylinders and FDI in retail.

But the Congress congratulated the people for “refusing to support the bandh call.”

Reports from various States said the strike was partially successful. While the National Democratic Alliance announced a Bharat Bandh, the Left parties, SP, BJD and JD (S) organised hartals and protest marches across the country.

BJP President Nitin Gadkari said his party had no plans to pull down the UPA Government as it would fall because of its own deeds. He warned the Centre of more protests if the “anti-people” decisions were not revoked, but added that his party was not keen on bringing a no-confidence motion. SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav participated in a sit-in protest.

Sources in the party indicated that unlike in 2008, when the SP supported the UPA-I over the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal, this time it is serious in protesting against diesel price hike and FDI in retail to win the support of traders and the middle-class. Addressing a protest rally here, CPI (M) General Secretary Prakash Karat said Mulayam Singh should lead the struggle against the policies of the UPA Government. “Among us, you are the largest party in Parliament,” he said. Congress sources maintained that there was no possibility to retract from the “crucial pro-reform” announcements. The party’s managers are working on securing SP and BSP support in Parliament.

Meanwhile, the Trinamool Congress Ministers are slated to submit their resignations on Friday.


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