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The ruling BJD in Odisha on Thursday threatened to intensify its stir if the Centre did not reduce the price of LPG cylinders by November 30, party leaders said.

The regional party had staged picketing before all 314 blocks in the state over the issue for three days that culminated on Wednesday.

The BJD will again intensify its stir if the Centre does not revise the price of cooking gas which has touched Rs 930 for a 14 kg cylinder, BJD's youth wing president and MLA Byamokesh Ray along with two other party legislatures told reporters here.

Rejecting the BJP's argument that the price of LPG has increased due to a rise in the price in the international market, the BJD leaders said the price of a gas cylinder was Rs 414 in 2014 when the international price of natural gas was USD 6 per BTU (British thermal unit). Now, the price is Rs 930 per cylinder when the international price is USD 5.8 per BTU.

The price of gas cylinder has increased by 123 per cent since 2014, the BJD said in a statement expressing concerns that the price of fuel has increased without any reason.

Meanwhile, as part of the state-wide Jan Jagaran Abhijan' (mass awareness campaign), youth Congress activists staged a noisy protest at Raj Mahal Square in the state capital accusing the saffron party of cheating people with its 'Achhe Din' slogan.

The party also blamed the BJD for the hike in the price of cooking gas and fuel.

The BJD has all along supported the BJP's policies and the price rise of gas and fuel is also part of it. The BJD is staging an agitation keeping in view the ensuing panchayat polls, said state Youth Congress president S R Lenka.

The Youth Congress activists raised slogans against Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and alleged that the steep hike in the prices of fuel, cooking gas, and other essential commodities during the COVID-19 pandemic has broken the backbone of poor and middle class families.

The Congress said it will intensify the stir against the Centre, if there is no revision in the price of cooking gas, fuel and essential items.

 

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