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Pradeep Pattanayak

Protesting against the ever-increasing price of cooking gas, Biju Yuva Janata Dal, Biju Chhatra Janata Dal and Biju Mahila Janata Dal will stage demonstrations for three days in all blocks across the State for three days. said senior party leader and Chandbali MLA Byomakesh Ray on Sunday. 

Coming out all guns blazing against the Central Government, Ray said the BJP came to power by saying it would ensure ‘Achhe Din’ if comes to the power. But such day has never arrived. It’s much-hyped ‘Ujjwala Yojana’ has also failed. In the last three years, the cooking gas price has increased by 70 per cent, making it out of reach for the BPL families, who are the real beneficiaries of the yojana. At a time when prices of essential commodities are increasing, people find it very difficult to refill their cylinders."

“Protesting against this, Biju Yuva Janata Dal, Biju Chhatra Janata Dal and Biju Mahila Janata Dal will demonstrate in all the blocks of Cuttack, Sambalpur and Berhampur RDC Zones on November 22, 23 and 24 respectively. And, the strike will continue till the central government reduces the price of cooking gas,” he said. 

“The central government has been claiming that the use of cylinder has increased by 98 percent. But the National Family Health Survey report says the increase is only 20 per cent which is a normal process,” he stated, adding that the central government had said the poor families would get free of cost cylinder under Ujjwala Yojana. But now the beneficiaries have to pay around Rs 1000 to get a filled-up gas cylinder. The Yojana has completely failed,” he added. 

Banki MLA Debi Ranjan Tripathy said besides staging demonstration in all the blocks, a memorandum will also be submitted to the President, demanding his interference. 

On the other hand, BJP general secretary Lekhashree Samantasinghar came down heavily on the ruling BJD. She termed the BJD’s move as nothing but a gimmick to divert people’s attention from issues like Mamita Meher murder case wherein one of its Ministers is allegedly involved. In past, its Ministers were also involved in cases like Pari murder case and Mahanga triple murder case. 

Lashing out at the government, she said, “If the government is so concerned about the petrol and diesel price hike, it should have reduced the VAT more instead of Rs3.04 and Rs 2.86 respectively. And if the government is complaining about the price hike of gas cylinders, it should reduce electricity tariff so that people can use induction cooking tops. People are getting unexpected electricity bills and suffering from unscheduled power cuts owing to which students’ online education gets affected.” 

“It has been our demand that the State government reduce the power tariff. In coming days, we will hit the streets over this demand,” she added. 

She said the BJD’s announcement of staging dharna in all blocks of Cuttack, Sambalpur and Berhampur RDCs clearly indicates two things. First, it’s a political gimmick as the panchayat election is round the corner. Second, since BJP is standing with people on the roads over several issues, the party is looking for excuses to do so.

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