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Protests against fuel price hike rock India
RESMI SIVARAM / AGENCIES September 11, 2018
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NEW DELHI: Indians set tyres on fire, vandalised petrol stations and blocked roads and railways on Monday as opposition parties led nationwide demonstrations against rising fuel prices.

However, the union government on Monday asserted that the fuel price hike is not within its hands and any intervention is not possible to check it. The hike is a result of the strengthening of the US dollar and the production curbs that OPEC countries have kept, said Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, even as the country shut down to protest against the spiralling prices.

The “Bharat Bandh” or shutdown was called by the Congress party, supported by 21 other opposition groups. Congress president Rahul Gandhi led the protests in Delhi from Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial Rajghat.

“Ever since the BJP came to power (in 2014) fuel prices have been going up. Prime Minister Modi has failed to deliver on his promises to the people,” Gandhi, 48, told a crowd in Delhi.

“Your money is being looted... Hatred is being spread. Wherever you see, Indians are fighting one another,” said the scion of the long-powerful Gandhi-Nehru dynasty.

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh, joining the protest led by Sonia Gandhi and Rahul, alleged that the BJP-led government has “now crossed all limits.” Singh, who had virtually retired from political activity, said the government is a total failure.

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