MP Congress protests against fuel price hike; police books Digvijay Singh for leading bicycle rally
Digvijaya Singh alleged that the incumbent BJP governments in the state and at the Centre see the Coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to earn money
Madhya Pradesh police booked 150 Congress workers including senior Congress leader and former MP Chief Minister Digvijay Singh on Wednesday night for carrying out a kilometre long bicycle rally to protest against the continuous hike in fuel prices.
Hundreds of party workers accompanied Digvijaya Singh in riding bicycles from Roshanpura intersection to the chief minister's residence on Wednesday to protest against the rising fuel prices. Following this, the police booked them under IPC Sections 341, 188, 143, 269 and 270.
Talking to the media, Digvijaya Singh said, “BJP wants to quell the voice of opposition in the state. Instead of reducing the fuel prices, the government is trying to silence the voices which are protesting against it. This is shameful.”
Singh alleged that the incumbent BJP governments in the state and at the Centre see the Coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to earn money. "The pandemic still persists. Inflation is increasing and people are dying of hunger, but the Central government has increased excise duty on petrol and diesel for the 18th consecutive day. As PM Modi says, look for opportunity in disaster; for the Centre,corona disaster is an opportunity to earn money," he added.
Digvijaya Singh's bicycle ride was part of state-wide protests called by the Congress against the rise in petrol and diesel price on Wednesday. The party's state unit chief Kamal Nath had asked all district and block-level members to participate in the rally. This saw former minister and the state unit’s acting media in-charge Jitu Patwari leading workers riding bicycles in Indore.
Taking a dig at PM Modi’s poll promise to reduce the price of petroleum products, Jitu Patwari said, "BJP had risen to power with the claims of pulling down the inflation rate. Narendra Modi had promised that he will bring the value of rupee at par with that of the dollar, but instead, he has brought the price of diesel at par with petrol."
He said that people are already facing trouble due to losses in business, job loss, economic slowdown and other problems, but the government has been putting extra burden on them by increasing petrol and diesel prices by over Rs 10-12 in the last 20 days.
Indore city Congress leader Vinay Bakliwal said that crude oil in international market is about $45 per barrel but the government has increased the prices unnecessarily. "Price of crude during the Manmohan Singh-led Congress government in Centre was $135 per barrel, but even then price of petrol and dieseldid not increase more than Rs 70 per litre and now when the price of crude is less than $50 per barrel, it has reached to Rs 90 a litre,” he said.
Reacting to Congress protests, state home minister Narrotam Mishra termed it a ‘political stunt’ by Congress leaders. 'Digvijaya Singh should apologise first. Congress said they will reduce petrol price by Rs 5 in their election manifesto but increased it by Rs 2 and spent the money on actors Salman Khan and Jacqueline Fernandez. But we used it to fight corona,” he said.
Congress leaders said that they will launch a massive protest against the government if fuel prices were not decreased immediately.
Published: 25 Jun 2020, 1:09 PM