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Petrol hike: Mamata to take out march, DMK announces stir

Kolkata(PTI): West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will take out a protest march in Kolkata tomorrow while DMK gave a call for an agitation in Tamil Nadu on May 30 as the two key UPA allies step up pressure on the Centre today to roll back the steepest-ever petrol price hike.

The protest action by the Trinamool Congress supremo and the DMK are expected to lend weight to a united opposition onslaught against the hike with the BJP-led NDA and the Left already announcing an all india bandh on May 31.

Anna Hazare also announced support for the Bharat Bandh, saying his supporters will participate in the stir.

Joining the growing political opposition to the Rs 7.54 per litre hike, the ruling BJD in Odisha gave a call for a state-wide bandh on May 31 to demand an immediate rollback.
Banerjee would lead the procession from Jadavpore to Hazra crossing, covering a distance of 5 km in south Kolkata, Panchayat minister Subrata Mukherjee told PTI in Kolkata.

“It will be a major voice of protest against the petrol price hike,” Mukherjee said.
Union Railway Minister Mukul Roy led the Trinamool protest march with other party leaders and state ministers yesterday in Kolkata to demand a rollback.

Announcing DMK’s protest plans, the party said in a release that it would stage peaceful demonstrations in front of the central government offices and district collectorates at all district headquarters in Tamil Nadu.

“DMK cannot remain ignorant of people’s issues” though it is a UPA constituent,” party supremo and former chief minister M Karunanidhi said in Chennai.

In Bhubaneswar, BJD general secretary Narendra Swain said the ruling party has decided to observe a shut-down across the state on May 31.

The Left Front constituents held a meeting in Kolkata after which its chairman Biman Bose said protest programmes will be held by Leftist organisations throughout the state from May 26 to May 30 ahead of the major rallies on May 31.

“We do not believe that the Centre has nothing to do. It is true that deregulation of petrol prices have been made but oil companies discuss before effecting hikes with the government … It was on the direction of the central government that the oil companies effected the hike only after the Parliament session was over,” Bose, also a CPI(M) Politburo member said.

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