The harthal called for by the opposition parties, comprising of the Left and BJP led NDA opposing the fuel price hike was total in Kodagu.
There were no instances of violence reported in the Dist. All educational institutions remained closed, and shops and all buisness establishments shut down for the day. Govt. and Private buses were off the roads and vehicular movement was absent. All state and central Govt.. establishments functioned with a skeletal staff.
State Congress Working President D.K. Shivakumar’s vehicle was stopped at Kushalanagar while he was on his way to attend the assembly session in Bangalore from Sullia. He was allowed to proceed after an hour D.K. Shivakumar defended the fuel price hike as inevitable due to the high international prices of crude oil, during his interaction with the media.
Faced with the Opposition uniting over the country-wide bundh on Monday over the rise in prices and the fuel prices, the Congress Party used SMSes to counter its rival’s propaganda offensive.
Congress workers sent bulk SMSes to cell phone users appealing the Chief Minister to reduce petrol prices by reducing sales tax.
One such message reads. “Appeal to Chief Minister Yeddyurappa on Bharat Bundh to reduce petrol price by reducing taxes.”
The SMS further compared price of petrol per litre in Bangalore-Rs. 57.86 with that prevailing in other metros-Mumbai Rs. 55.51; Chennai Rs. 54.61 and Delhi Rs. 50.52.
The Karnataka Government levies a sales tax of 25 pc on petrol and 18 pc on diesel.
During a recent visit to Bangalore, Union Minister for Petroleum Murli Deora had said that the State was collecting high levels of sales tax petrol products and it should reduce it to help public.