Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad addressed the media and slammed the opposition by calling their protest 'a failure'. While he agreed that 'everyone has a right to protest', he also questioned the opposition for the violence and inconvenience caused during the course of the 'Bandh'. Furthermore, he gave out a point-by-point rebuttal to the questions raised by the opposition during the 'Bharat Bandh' protest.
"Everyone has a right to protest but what is happening today? Petrol pumps and buses being set ablaze, putting to risk lives. A child died after an ambulance was stuck in the protests in Bihar's Jehanabad. Atmosphere of fear is being created in the country. Who will take responsibility for the child’s death? Congress must give an answer."
"Will the party (Congress) take responsibility? When they (Congress) fails to garner support they resort to such protest. Instilling fear in the minds of citizens through violence is the biggest failure of Congress and Opposition", he added.
Leading the Congress march in New Delhi, Rahul Gandhi addressed the workers and slammed the Narendra Modi government for fuel price hike. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also took the opportunity and urged the citizens to 'change the government'. When asked to express his views on their comment, the law Minister said:
"I will not give importance to what Rahul Gandhi has said. Manmohan Singh also spoke. He is a big economist and I am a common BJP worker. Today, I express my desire to debate with Manmohan Singh ji in the Parliament but on facts", he said.
"The NDA Govt has been trying its best to contain inflation, and it has succeeded on numerous fronts. Petrol and diesel prices are high due to crisis in international market. There is political instability in Venezuela whereas Iran is under the pressure of US sanction. We welcome purposeful argument but the reasons for the hike in price not under the control of the government. It is upto the oil-producing countries and several Geo-political factors".
Earlier, Rahul Gandhi had begun the Congress' protest at Rajghat, even as in other parts of the country, Congress leaders tried to enforce it. Nowhere was this more apparent than in Mumbai, where the party's president for the city, Sanjay Nirupam, was detained and taken to a police station for trying to force a 'rail-roko' at the busy Andheri station. Also in Maharashtra's capital, the MNS was served a notice by the Mumbai Police under section 149 stating that the party would be held responsible for any law and order situation that may arise from its actions. Hundreds of protestors have also been detained in Chennai's Mount Road, while in Patna, visuals of hooligans destroying private property, including cars, have been accessed. The Opposition's protest is geared against all-time high fuel prices in the country.