Chandigarh: Dubbing the petrol price hike as "irrational", Punjab's ruling Shiromani Akali Dal on Thursday said it would support the May 31 nationwide bandh call given by the NDA against the Centre's decision.

"The SAD will support the 'Bharat Bandh' call in order to mount pressure on the Congress-led UPA government to immediately rollback the hike in petrol price," SAD patron and Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said in a statement here.

The NDA, of which the SAD is an ally, today declared a 'Bharat Bandh' on May 31 against the steep hike in petrol prices and spiralling prices of essential commodities.

Badal said it was "deplorable" on the part of the Congress government to hike the price of petrol 16 times during the last three years and "thereby crushing the backbone of the common man".

"People of the country will not tolerate such irrational decisions taken by the Centre at the behest of oil companies," he said.

Badal further accused the Congress party of running away from its duty to bear the burden of slashing the subsidy on petroleum products under the pretext of checking the trend of constant devaluation of the Indian rupee against the US dollar.

"The unending saga of woes of the common man would further accentuate with the likely increase in the prices of diesel and LPG immediately after the Presidential elections are over," he said.


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