New Delhi: The Congress has termed the opposition-backed July 5 nationwide shutdown against price rise as "uncalled for" as it will cause hardship to people and said that the protesters could have raised their issues in parliament.
"There is no need of Bharat Bandh (nationwide shutdown). It will cause hardship to people all over the country. Parliament session is beginning July 26. They (opposition parties) can raise their issues in parliament," Congress spokesman Mohan Prakash told IANS.
Asked about the opposition charge that the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government has failed to check price rise, Prakash said the blame lies with the opposition parties, particularly the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), for the prices not coming down appreciably.
"Whenever prices start coming down, the Opposition, mainly the BJP, starts making noise on price rise. This creates a psyche which is taken advantage of by profiteers," Prakash said.
Referring to latest inflation figures which show the food inflation dropping to 12.9 percent for the week ending June 19 from 16.9 percent over the previous week, Prakash said the BJP and other opposition parties have again made noise about price rise.
"This has happened twice earlier," he said, adding that it creates a situation to the benefit of profiteers and prevents a sharp fall in prices.
Congress earlier defended the hike in prices of petroleum products, decided by the government last month. It said the decision must have been made under some compulsion as no government wants to be unpopular.
The call for the dawn-to-dusk countrywide shutdown July 5 has been given by the Janata Dal-United, the BJP, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), Communist Party of India (CPI), the Revolutionary Socialist Party, the Forward Bloc, the Samajwadi Party, the AIADMK, the Telugu Desam Party, the Biju Janata Dal and the Indian National Lok Dal.
According to JD-U leaders, the Shiromani Akali Dal and the Shiv Sena will also join the strike.