Jaipur : The Bharat bandh call given by the Congress to protest the rising fuel prices evoked a mixed response in Rajasthan.
Markets in major cities of Kota, Udaipur, Ajmer, Jaipur, Pokhran and Sri Ganganagar were partially open. Several schools had declared a holiday, but some ran regular classes.
State Congress president Sachin Pilot, opposition leader Rameshwarlal Dudi, Rajasthan party in-charge Avinash Pandey along with other senior leaders took out a rally and appealed to traders to shut their shops in protest.
Pilot said the Opposition pressure forced Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje to slash the state VAT by 4 per cent. "The Prime Minister, too, would be making a similar announcement in view of the large support of the people for the bandh against the price hike," he added.
Pilot said the VAT cut by the Chief Minister is the same which she herself had increased in 2014. He also called for reduction in LPG prices.
On the other hand, Raje, who was in Hanumangarh, called the bandh unsuccessful. "This VAT cut has not been under anybody's pressure but on the demand of the common man of the state," she said.
Raje said gas cylinder prices under the Congress rule had witnessed a steep rise. "Under BJP tenure, the LPG cylinder price has gone up by 18% only. We have also given free LPG connections to around 37 lakh women in the state under PM's Ujjawala Yojana," she added.