Punjab, Haryana units of Congress join nationwide stir against price rise, unemployment
Chandigarh Police used water cannons to prevent Punjab Congress leaders and workers from marching to Punjab Raj Bhawan. Haryana Congress leaders were detained by the police
The Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh units of the Congress Party staged protests in Chandigarh on Friday as part of the nationwide stir against price rise, unemployment and the GST hike on essential items.
Scores of party workers from Punjab and Haryana descended in Chandigarh and held meetings at their respective party offices.
Chandigarh Police used water cannons to prevent Punjab Congress leaders and workers from marching to the Punjab Raj Bhawan, even as Haryana Congress leaders were detained by the police after being similarly prevented from heading towards the Haryana Raj Bhawan. They were, however, released shortly afterwards.
The Punjab unit staged protests under the leadership of its president Amrinder Singh Raja Warring and Leader of Opposition Partap Singh Bajwa.
The leaders from Haryana were led by former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Haryana Congress Committee president Udai Bhan.
Besides workers and supporters, several Congress MLAs from both the states also took part in the protests.
The protesters raised slogans against the government and accused the police of preventing them from marching towards the Governor's house by citing prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).
The Haryana Congress leaders led by Hooda and Bhan tried to take out a march from the state Congress office to lay a siege to the Governor's house before being stopped by the Chandigarh police which had put up barricades at a short distance from the opposition party's office.
Later, many leaders and party MLAs including Hooda and several Congress workers were briefly detained by the police after being evicted from the protest site and put in a police bus.
At a separate protest by the Punjab Congress, the UT police had put up barricades near Punjab Congress office in Sector 15 to prevent them from marching to the Punjab Raj Bhawan.
PPCC chief Raja Warring said prices of petrol, diesel, cooking gas and other essential commodities had gone beyond the common man’s reach. "The rupee's value against the dollar is falling. There are several burning issues which are affecting the common public, but the government is in slumber," he said.
Similar protests were held by the Congress at all district headquarters in Punjab and Haryana.
Protests were also held in Chandigarh by the Chandigarh unit of the Congress and Himachal Pradesh unit in Shimla.