By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: June 29, 2020 3:40:01 pm
Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar leads the protest against fuel price hike in the state. (Twitter/@INCIndia)
As fuel prices continued to climb, Congress leaders hit the streets on Monday in several cities across the country demanding rollback of the back-to-back hikes.
Party president Sonia Gandhi accused the government of extortion for hiking prices 22 times in last three week.
LIVE: Congress President, Smt. Sonia Gandhi joins the #SpeakUpAgainstFuelHike campaign https://t.co/ihbCCrIDpR
— Congress (@INCIndia) June 29, 2020
In a video message, she said, “I, along with all Congressmen and others together, demand from the Modi government to immediately roll back the increase in prices of petrol and diesel raised during this crisis due to the corona pandemic.”
“I also urge them to roll back the rise in excise duty on petrol and diesel since March this year and give this benefit to the countrymen. This will be a big relief in this period of economic crisis,” she added.
Read | Youth Congress members ride bullock cart to protest against fuel price hike
Several state units of the party participated in the demonstration. In Odisha, party legislator Suresh Kumar Routray said workers will stage demonstrations in front of central government offices in Bhubaneswar during the day to protest the rise in fuel prices.
“We demand an immediate rollback of the hike in prices of petrol and diesel,” he added.
Meanwhile, in Karnataka, social distancing and all the norms to contain the spread of coronavirus infection allegedly went for a toss as party state president D K Shivakumar and former chief minister Siddaramaiah took out a bicycle rally till the Congress office.
Read | Delhi Cong chief, workers detained by police during protest against fuel price hike
“When Manmohan Singh was the Prime Minister, fuel prices never went up beyond Rs 75. Today, not just fuel but also there is a steep rise in prices of all the commodities. It is becoming hard for the common man to survive at present times,” the former chief minister told the gathering.
In Andhra, the protest was led by PCC President Dr. Sake Sailajanath. (Twitter/@INCIndia)
In the national capital, members of the Indian Youth Congress (IYC) rode a bullock cart to mark their protest. IYC president Srinivas BV, along with a few others, rode the bullock cart from IYC’s headquarters at Raisina Road to Shastri Bhawan, where police stopped them.
“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, causing problems to the people already facing hardships due to the pandemic,” Srinivas said.
On the other hand, Delhi Congress president Anil Kumar and party workers were detained by the police at a petrol pump near Parmanand hospital after they raised slogans against the BJP-led central government and the AAP dispensation. 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, news agency PTI reported.
Read | Odisha Congress to stage demonstrations against fuel price rise
In Gujarat too, state party president Amit Chavda and nearly 50 other party workers were detained in Ahmedabad. They were not given permission for such a gathering, a senior police official said. Similar protests were organised in Rajkot, Vadodara and Surat districts.
Diesel price scaled a new high after prices were hiked for the 22nd time in just over three weeks, taking the cumulative increase to Rs 11.14 per litre. Petrol price was increased by 5 paise per litre and diesel 13 paise a litre across the country, according to a price notification of state oil marketing companies.
(With PTI inputs)
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