Bhubaneswar: Mounting pressure on the Centre to rein in rising price of fuel and cooking gas, activists of ruling-BJD today staged a protest meeting in front of the Raj Bhavan here today and later submitted a memorandum to the Governor Ganeshi Lal addressing the President of India.

Leaders of the ruling party accompanied by members of Biju Yuva Janata Dal, Biju Mahila Janata Dal and Biju Chhatra Janata Dal took out a rally before staging the demonstration. Amid sloganeering against the Centre, the BJD members demanded immediate reduction in excise duty on fuel.

"We have apprised the Governor about the price hike of fuel and cooking gas cylinder. This is a decisive fight and if price is not brought into control, we will stage dharna in 314 blocks and intensify our agitation," said party leader Sanjay Das Burma.

He added Odisha is the only State which is collecting less value added tax (VAT) on fuel. "But the way, the Centre has increased excise duty on fuel and increasing burden on people of the country, we oppose it. The Centre has failed to rein in rising fuel prices," Das Burma stated.

Commenting on the matter, BJP said the ruling party is shedding 'crocodile tears' only instead of actually doing anything concrete to lessen the burden on people of the State.

"The Centre has already asked the State government to cooperate and reduce VAT on fuel. Despite the fact that Odisha is earning Rs 7,000 crore on account of VAT, why the State is not cutting down on the tax. They (BJD) only want to target Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan with political motives and not aimed at lessening the suffering of people," stated BJP spokesperson Golak Mohapatra.

On September 7, the ruling BJD had launched a three-day state-wide agitation protesting the spiralling fuel prices. Party members across the state staged peaceful demonstrations before petrol pumps in their respective areas for two hours from 10 am to 12 noon.

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