The UPA government, on its third anniversary, has gifted an extremely abrupt and unbelievably steep petrol price hike and this is perhaps the most appropriate time for the opposition party to jump into the fray and bring up the failures of the present government.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is holding its national executive meeting on Thursday, announced an India shutdown on May 31 on behalf of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

According to a Yahoo report, NDA convener and JDU chief Sharad Yadav said that all the NDA partners are in agreement for the proposal of "Bharat Band" on May 31 and have approached other political parties for support. 

The BJP will spearhead the protest against hike in petroleum prices announced by the government last evening.

Senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said the strike was called on May 31 by their patriarch L K Advani.

He said Advani, on behalf of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), has announced the strike" in the wake of enormous hike of petrol prices by over Rs 7."

"We appeal to the people of the country to make it a great success peacefully by conveying their profound anger," said Prasad here addressing media.

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Outrage flared all over India as the sharpest hike till date in petrol prices took effect on Thursday.

Indian Oil said that along with fellow state oil retailers Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd and Bharat Petroleum, it would raise petrol prices by Rs 6.28 per litre excluding local taxes from midnight, translating to a 11.5 percent or Rs 7.5 hike in New Delhi and cities like Kolkata.

(With inputs from IBNS)