New Delhi: Demanding a roll-back in the fuel and fertiliser price hike, the Left and constituents of the opposition Third Front on Monday called for a countrywide shutdown on April 27 and threatened to move a cut motion on the finance bill to be presented by the government in parliament.
Leaders of 13 opposition parties, including the Samajwadi Party (SP), the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), held a two-hour meeting in the capital and strongly opposed "the wrong policies of the government".
A cut motion is moved by opposition parties when they want a slash in certain provisions of a financial bill. It puts to test the strength of the government in parliament.
The warning from the non-NDA, non-UPA parties signals tough times ahead for the government in parliament when tax proposals will be debated in the second half of the budget session.
The parties also demanded an amendment in the finance bill, which is to be passed by parliament in the budget session that resumes on April 15 after an over three-week-long recess.
"We have decided to organise a shutdown in the country April 27 against the price rise," Communist Party of India (CPI) general secretary A.B. Bardhan told reporters after the meeting.
The meeting was attended by Communist Party of India-Marxist general secretary Prakash Karat, SP leader Mulayam Singh, RJD's Lalu Prasad, Indian National Lok Dal's Om Prakash Chautala, Rashtriya Lok Dal's Ajit Singh, JD-S' H.D. Deve Gowda, TDP's Chandrababu Naidu among others.
Lalu Prasad said the opposition didn't want to topple the government. "But we want to mark our protest against the wrong policies of the government."
The leaders also discussed the controversial women's reservation bill, which is being severely opposed by the SP and the RJD. It was decided to hold another round of consultation on the legislation after a proposed all-party meeting on the bill to be convened by the government, the date for which has not been finalised yet.
The Third Front leaders stood for a minute in silence to mourn the death of 77 security men in a Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh on April 6.