Congress leaders Sunday urged the people of Gujarat to make Monday's Bharat Bandh a success and accused the centre of revising excise duty on petrol and diesel twelve times leading to a sharp spike in their prices.
The BJP-led Union government pocketed Rs 11 lakh crore from the public by raising taxes on fuel and not including petrol and diesel under GST, Congress leaders Sushil Kumar Shinde, Rajiv Satav and Amit Chavda claimed in two separate press conferences in Rajkot and Ahmedabad.
Talking to reporters in Rajkot, former union minister Sushil Kumar Shinde slammed the NDA government over rise in fuel prices and blamed its "stubborn" stand for this.
"Fuel prices can be reduced if the government includes it under GST. The government has earned over Rs 11 lakh crore through taxation on fuel," Mr Shinde said.
He said that twelve countries were importing petrol and diesel at cheaper rates from India, while people here were made to suffer due to constant price rise.
"The government has power to reduce prices. It appears the government lacks co-ordination with oil companies which has resulted in the rise in prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas on a daily basis," Mr Shinde claimed.
Calling people in the state to join in large numbers to support the shutdown, Congress' Gujarat in charge Rajiv Satav and state president Amit Chavda, in a joint press conference, said that despite a drop in international crude oil prices, the Narendra Modi government continued to impose excise duty leading to rise in their prices domestically.
"Since May 2014, excise duty on petrol has gone up by 211.7 per cent, on diesel by 443.06 per cent. Central excise duty was revised upwards 12 times," Mr Satav said.
"Congress president Rahul Gandhi has repeatedly demanded that petrol and diesel be included in GST as this could reduce the price by Rs 10-15 per litre," he said.
Mr Chavda asked party workers to ensure that the bandh remained peaceful while requesting all sections of society to support it.
He also urged small businessmen and shopkeepers to down shutters till 3 pm Monday to make the bandh a success.