Bhubaneswar: The Odisha unit of Congress party today staged symbolic demonstration in front of various filling stations across the State as part of party’s call for nationwide protests over the steep hike in the price of petrol and diesel.
Leaders and supporters of the party staged demonstration at various petrol pumps in Bhubaneswar. They demanded immediate roll back of excise duty imposed on the fuel.
The party alleged that the rise in fuel prices has led to more suffering of common man in the times of pandemic due to failed economic policies and widespread unemployment. At this time, increase in price of fuel has pinched the pockets of the public.
The All India Congress Congress Committee had earlier announced that the protests would be organised by the local units of the party in compliance with all Covid safety protocols prescribed by the administration.
The demonstration is to highlight public interest such as problems being faced due to the spiralling prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas.
The BJP government has increased excise duty by Rs 23.87 per litre on petrol and Rs 28.37 on diesel in comparison to the previous UPA regime, they said.
Petrol and diesel prices were hiked again on Friday 31 paise per litre and 28 paise per litre, respectively.
Petrol is being sold at Rs 100 at many places across the country.
“Narendra Modi should immediately withdraw the hiked amount imposed on Petrol and diesel as people are suffering severe financial crisis due to scarcity of job over pandemic induced lockdown. I also demand Naveen Babu should immediately withdraw Rs 20 VAT. The CM should not follow the footprint of Modi as he is a gone case,” Senior Congress leader and MLA Sura Routray said.
“The BJP had promised to provide petrol at Rs 35 in 2014 when it came power. It had circulated its slogan ‘ Achhe Din Aageya’. Now, Petrol is being sold at Rs 100. Is it Aachhe Din?, asks senior Congress leader Sarat Patnaik.
“During Congress regime, the price of Petrol was Rs 60-65 per litre. We want that now,” he demanded.
Meanwhile, the BJP has hit back at the grand-old party for doing cheap politics at a time when the whole country is fighting an invisible enemy.
"I request the Congress party to refrain doing such cheap politics at a time when the entire nation is struggling with a crisis arising out of a pandemic. They should know that the State governments are also imposing VAT on the fuel prices. Has the Congress party withdrawn the VAT on petrol and diesel in its own-ruled States like Punjab, Haryana and Maharashtra," said State BJP spokesperson Satyabrat Panda.