BJD launches protests against price hikes

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On Sunday, members of the women’s wing of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in Odisha cooked on clay “chulhas” (ovens) in the streets here in protest against rising LPG prices.

Young ruling party workers in Odisha rode bicycles and ox carts to the “dharna” site near Raj Bhavan to highlight soaring fuel prices which are causing hardship for ordinary people.

Leaders and supporters of the ruling party, led by Bhubaneswar (North) MP Susant Kumar Rout, staged a sit-in near Raj Bhavan here to protest against rising prices for fuel, cooking gas and essential items.

Read also | India will use its ‘leeway’ to ensure fuel prices fall: Puri

BJD party leaders, including ministers, MPs, leaders from all front wings, have leaned strongly against the BJP-led government and blamed its “failing” economic management for the “uninterrupted” rise in prices. commodities.

The party also submitted a memorandum to Raj Bhavan addressed to the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind. Since Governor Ganeshi Lal is not present in the state, his office received the memorandum, said BJD top leader Sanjay Das Burma.

Addressing the assembly, Das Verma, who is also the vice-president of the National Planning Council, attacked the Center for its “total mismanagement of the economy”.

BJD Vice Chairman Debi Prasad Mishra said if the Center did not take action to bring down the skyrocketing prices, the BJD would be forced to organize protests in every village in Odisha and even in the national capital.

Read also | Price hike hits matches, will cost 2 Rs instead of 1 Re from December

Before the sit-in-dharna began near Raj Bhavan, hundreds of youth from the ruling party took to the streets with oxcarts, bicycles and wagons, demanding lower fuel prices.

Rout said the price of oil in Bhubaneswar crossed the 110 rupee mark on Sunday after rising 35 paise per liter for the fifth day in a row. Chief Government Whip Pramila Mallick said the BJD will no longer tolerate the further increase in fuel prices and demanded an immediate reduction in the prices of gasoline, diesel and cooking gas. She said the BJD would hold similar protest meetings in the state’s 147 electoral districts.

BJD leaders said it was unfortunate that the BJP government did not care about the people struggling due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Odisha Culture Minister Ashok Chandra Panda said that gasoline and diesel prices have reached an all time high in the past two years and that the BJD will never remain silent on this issue and will raise its voice in the public interest.

The BJP opposition and Congress, however, criticized the BJD and claimed that it was a ploy to distract the public from the case of the kidnapping and murder of a teacher in Kalahandi district.

Read also | Rising prices for fresh gasoline and diesel add to common man’s woes

“Pushed to a corner by statewide fury over the teacher’s murder and a minister of state’s alleged connection to the first defendant, the ruling party resorted to a diversionary tactic with this demonstration, “said BJP general secretary Prithviraj Harichandan.

Senior Congressman Suresh Routray also criticized the BJD for remaining silent for a long time and only raising the issue after opposition parties staged statewide protests against the murder. of the teacher.

“The entire state is now in turmoil over the murder of the teacher and the alleged close ties of Home Secretary DS Mishra to the main defendant. … There is no doubt that the BJD protest is only an attempt to cover up the wrongdoing of the Minister of State, ”said Routray.

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