JAMMU, July 3: Maintaining social distancing and mask wearing, contingent of Congress leaders and cadres staged a bi-cycle rally in protest against steep hike in petrol and diesel prices by the Central Government.
“The protest on fifth consecutive day in Jammu is a part of Congress Party’s nationwide protest against increasing petrol and diesel prices by state-run oil marketing firms due to increase in excise duty by the Central Government at a time when crude oil is trading at its lowest price the world over,” a Congress spokesman said.
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The protest was organized by Jatinder Singh Chib from Block Bahu, Gandhi Nagar and Surinder Singh Dutt Block 12, Trikuta Nagar and joined by senior leaders led by former minister and senior Congress leader Raman Bhalla, District president Yogesh Sawhney, PCC chief spokesman Ravinder Sharma, general secretary Manmohan Singh and others. Bhalla and Yogesh Sawhney along with others rode a bicycle to protest against the rising fuel prices.
Speaking on the occasion, Bhalla said that the ruling BJP sees corona virus pandemic as an opportunity to earn money.”Today, when people are getting infected with COVID-19, inflation is increasing and people are facing hunger, the Central Government has increased Excise duty on petrol and diesel many folds. Despite people expressing resentment from a bullock and camel cart rallies to leaders riding bicycles against the fuel prices hike hurting the poor and the middle-class adversely, the Govt has not shown any concern, Bhalla added.
Sawhney said that PM called himself ‘Janata ka Chowkidar’, but the oil companies have been making profits and the PM has failed to provide any relief to the people” Sawhney said asking what the Centre has done with Rs 18 lakh crore earned by hiking the excise duty on fuel in the past six years. He said it was because of the “faulty” Centre Government policies that for the first time in the country’s history prices of diesel was higher than that of petrol. “The country’s GDP has hit the bottom. It is the lowest in 6 years and unemployment is on the rise. Still, fuel prices have been increased,” said Sawhney.
Senior leaders Ravinder Sharma and Manmohan Singh also spoke on the occasion.