As the Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday began a series of country-wide protests against the increase in prices of petroleum products announced by the government on Friday, its ally, the Janata Dal (United), said it favoured “joint action” by all Opposition parties.

JD(U) president Sharad Yadav accused the government of “surrendering” to market forces and allowing more people to be economically pushed to the margins.

Commenting on the government's move to deregulate prices of petroleum-based products, Mr. Yadav said this country is too poor with too many people unsure of their next meal for the government to leave pricing to be determined purely by market forces.

He appealed to all parties opposed to the hike to unite on a common platform irrespective of ideological differences.

BJP general secretary Dharmendra Pradhan has announced that on June 26 and 27 party workers will demonstrate outside district headquarters in many states. The protest will focus on price hike and the high rate of food inflation.