Congress holds nationwide protests against fuel price hike; Sonia, Rahul slam Centre
In a video, Rahul Gandhi said, “The affect of rise in diesel and petrol prices are two-fold. One that you pay directly, and the other due to risenin prices of consumer products, including essential items”
NEW DELHI: The Congress on Monday organised protests in several cities across the country against the increase in fuel prices and demanded immediate roll back of the hike.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi attacked the Centre for raising fuel prices 22 times since the lockdown and accused it of extorting people.
She charged the government with profiteering at the expense of the people, saying its duty was to help them in times of crisis and not make profits out of their hard-earned money.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also asked the government to stop profiteering from the motor fuel and roll back the recent hikes.
In a video, Rahul Gandhi said, “The affect of rise in diesel and petrol prices are two-fold. One that you pay directly, and the other due to risenin prices of consumer products, including essential items.”
Sachin Pilot leads protest in Rajasthan
Rajasthan Congress president Sachin Pilot led a protest against the Centre over the “unprecedented” hike in petrol and diesel prices and said it has hammered the people at the time of economic hardship imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Addressing the protesters, Pilot said, “Due to the coronavirus crisis, demand for fuel has fallen all over the world. Despite having full stock of fuel, the government has burdened the common people by increasing fuel prices continuously for last 20 days.”
Such a steep hike has not been effected in 70 years, he said, adding that it is “unprecedented”.
Pilot said, “The poor and the middle class have been severely hit by the recent hikes. Such a situation has not been seen in any other country. All the countries are helping its people during the coronavirus crisis. The Centre has hammered the people when the country is facing economic slowdown. No government has hit its people so hard before.”
He said petrol and diesel prices directly affect the common people but the Centre has not formulated any policy to deal with the economic slowdown and they passed on the burden to the masses.
“No government can ignore people’s voice. Hike in petrol and diesel prices will have to be reversed,” he demanded.
Maharashtra Congress stages protests
In Maharashtra, several Congress ministers, including Balasaheb Thorat, Ashok Chavan and Nitin Raut, staged a protest at the party office in Mumbai.
“The petrol and diesel prices have been increased by the Centre in last some days. The prices should be slashed as people are already affected by the lockdown, said Thorat, who is the Maharashtra Congress president and the state revenue minister.
Former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan led a protest in Sangli along with state minister Vishwajit Kadam.
Besides, state minister Satej Patil staged a protest against the fuel price hike in Kolhapur.
Cycle rally against fuel hike in Bengaluru
Defying social distancing and wearing of masks, hundreds of Karnataka Congress leaders and cadres took out a cycle rally in the city against steep hike in petrol and diesel prices by the Central government.
Party’s state unit president D K Shivakumar, opposition leader in the assembly Siddaramaiah, party’s state unit working president Sameer Ahmed and senior leaders Ramalinga Reddy and Dinesh Gunde Rao participated in the cycle rally from the party’s office to the Income-Tax office, a km away.
Gujarat Congress chief, 50 workers detained
Gujarat Congress president Amit Chavda and nearly 50 other party workers were detained in Ahmedabad on Monday while they were trying to take out a rally against the ruling BJP at the Centre over the fuel price hike.
The opposition party also organised similar protests in Rajkot, Vadodara and Surat districts of Gujarat and demanded roll back of the hike.
In Ahmedabad, Chavda and 50 other Congress workers, including MLA Gyasuddin Shaikh, were detained near Sardar Baug area while trying to take out a rally against the increased prices of petrol and diesel.
Delhi Congress chief, workers detained by police
Delhi Congress leaders on Monday staged a protest across the city against hike in fuel prices, raising slogans against the BJP-led central government and the AAP dispensation in the national capital.
Delhi Congress president Anil Kumar and party workers, however, were detained later by police at a petrol pump near Parmanand hospital.
Kumar said police detained him and party workers as they tried to go to Raj Niwas, which is Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal’s official residence, to lodge their protest against the rising prices of petrol and diesel.
Haryana Congress holds statewide protest against fuel price hike
The Haryana unit of the Congress on Monday held statewide protests against the hike in fuel prices, with party leaders saying it is bound to have a cascading effect and burden the common people who are already facing hardships due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Protests were held across the state, including Karnal, Rohtak, Yamunanagar, Faridabad, Sirsa and other places.
Haryana Congress president Kumari Selja led the protest in Karnal, which is chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s home constituency.
She said despite international crude oil prices being at their lowest, the Centre, instead of passing on the benefits to the common people by lowering the prices, is constantly hiking fuel prices.
Selja said when the Congress-led UPA was in power, relief was given to people even though international crude oil prices were soaring while the Modi government has been raising petrol and diesel prices, burdening the common people and the farmers already facing hardships due to the coronavirus pandemic.