Bhubaneswar: Strongly protesting the steep hike in petrol price, the ruling BJD in Odisha on Friday gave a call for a state-wide bandh on May 31 to demand its immediate roll-back.

"At a meeting held here today the party decided to observe a shut-down across the state on May 31 against the hike in price of petrol by Rs 7.50 per litre," BJD general secretary Narendra Swain said.

Maintaining that the hike would worsen the plight of the common people who are already hit hard by soaring inflation, Swain said BJD wants the Congress-led UPA government to immediately roll-back the petrol price hike.

Terming the hike as "undemocratic and anti-people," senior BJD leader and Finance minister Prafulla Ghadai said petrol price had been increased 11 times by the UPA government which would severely affect common people.

It would also affect the economy and lead to rise in prices of essential commodities and vegetables, he said adding the Centre should ask the oil companies to withdraw the hike in petrol prices in public interest.
The bandh call was given a day after BJD leaders staged a sit-in near Raj Bhavan here and held demonstrations at several places yesterday. BJD has decided continue the agitation throughout the state in order to mount pressure on the Central government to roll back the hike in petrol price.

The Odisha government has also ruled out further reduction in VAT on petrol with Finance minister Ghadai saying that VAT had already been reduced from 20 percent to 18 percent after previous increase in petrol price.


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