Bharat bandh: Left leaders share dais with BJP; Mulayam stays away

Last Updated: Thu, Sep 20, 2012 12:32 hrs

Left leaders Sitaram Yechury and A B Bardhan on Thursday shared dais with BJP's Nitin Gadkari and Murli Manohar Joshi at a demonstration against FDI in retail and hike in diesel prices.

The protest was organised by traders' organisations supportive of BJP at Jantar Mantar here.

After attending the protest by traders, Yechury and Bardhan moved towards the demonstration organised jointly by Left parties, SP, JD(S), BJD and TDP as part of the nationwide bandh.

SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, who attended the joint protest by the parties, however did not attend the traders' protest.

Mulayam, Karat court arrest

Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Left leaders Prakash Karat and A B Bardhan courted arrest during the nation-wide bandh against FDI in retail and diesel price hike.

After holding a joint demonstration at Jantar Mantar, the leaders of SP, four Left parties, JD(S), TDP and BJD marched to Parliament Street Police Station along with supporters and courted arrest.

Besides Yadav, Karat (CPM)and Bardhan (CPI), other prominent leaders who courted arrested included Sitaram Yechury (CPM), Chandrababu Naidu of TDP and Deve Gowda.

"The government has been coming out with policies after policies that affect people of this country. The biggest loser of these policies especially diesel price hike is farmers. Farmers have been put to lot of trouble.

"We will tour the entire nation and listen to people's grievances and decide our strategy," Yadav said addressing the protesters.

Karat alleged the government came out with the FDI decision to "rob the jobs of traders and give it to companies like Walmart".

"We want to tell the government that its policies on FDI, diesel price hike and PSU disinvestment are wrong. We have to keep this movement alive till the Govt rollbacks these decisions.

"We will fight for this inside and outside Parliament. We will persuade the government to withdraw its decision. I request Mulayam Singh to support us in this fight for the people of the country," he said.

Naidu said the government's policies are "wrong" and the Congress has to understand this. "All these are anti-people decisions and they need to be withdrawn," he added.

A nation-wide bandh has been called by NDA, Left parties and SP against the Centre's decision on FDI in retail, diesel price rise and cap on LPG cylinders.

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