Strikes over fuel prices hit three left-ruled states
Friday, 06 June 2008

REUTERS, KOLKATA, India - Strikes shut down transport, businesses and schools in the three communist-run states of West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura on Thursday after a rise in fuel prices, but there was little sense of real fury against the government.

Communist allies of the ruling coalition kicked off a week of protests against Wednesday's price hikes by calling one-day strikes in the three states they rule, leaving streets, offices and airports largely deserted.

They say the government should have done more to insulate consumers from high global oil prices, even though it only passed on a fraction of surging crude costs when it raised heavily subsidised prices of petrol and diesel by about 10 percent.

Some people said the left's protest was cynical politics that would only make life worse for ordinary people.
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