Expressing concern over the sharp rise in prices of petrol, diesel and gas besides other essential commodities during the last few years of the BJP regime, scores of Panther activists spearheaded by Mr. Harsh Dev Singh Chairman-JKNPP and other leaders staged a vociferous protest demonstration at Exhibition Ground Jammu today. The agitated protestors amid raising anti-BJP slogans torched its effigy to express their resentment over the current inflation trends of fuel and gas in the country which had broken the back of the common masses. They took out a procession from press club and started march towards civil secretariat but were restrained by a huge contingent of security personnel enroute resulting in scuffles with the Policemen. The protestors raised slogans of “Mehangai ka rakshas murdabad, murdabad”, “Bure din vapis do, vapis do”, “BJP sarkar istifa do, istifa do”, “BJP sarkar sarkar hai hai” and so on.
Speaking to media, Mr. Harsh Dev Singh said that with hefty excise duty, road cess, VAT on fuel and additional farm cess being levied, the petrol and diesel prices had sky rocketed to over Rs.101/- per litre and Rs. 90/- per litre respectively. “Not only had petrol and diesel prices skyrocketed during the past few years but ethanol mixed and adulterated fuel was being sold to people at exorbitant prices. The adulteration in fuel was causing damage to vehicle engines besides resulting in several other complications with an unconcerned regime refusing to address the peoples’ woes”, rued Mr. Singh. And with even the adulterated petrol and diesel becoming dearer, the price of domestic LPG cylinder had further soared to above Rs. 900/- per cylinder. The bizarre hike in price of fuel and gas has added to the woes of the common masses, Harsh rued. Regretting that the common man’s life had become miserable in view of the raging inflation, he pointed out that there had been frequent surges in the prices of onions, tomatoes etc during the BJP rule which had rendered the popular vegetables beyond the reach of people. “The astounding rates of groceries including dairies, cereals, pulses and edible oils have also broken the spine of common man. With the mustard oil hitting Rs. 220/- a litre, the budget of a common household has crashed leaving housewives hapless”, lamented Harsh. He said that inflation had become a benchmark of BJP’s governance and looting people by burning holes in their pockets has become synonymous with Saffron party.
Lambasting the BJP for its hypocrisy over inflation, Mr. Singh reminded that while the BJP was in opposition, its front line leaders wasted no time to lodge series of protest demonstrations at every nook and corner of the country against the price rise of essential commodities. But now with the Saffron party having been in power for the last four years, the inflation rate had peaked all time high and broken all records with none of its Ministers uttering a word over the soaring prices, he added.
Mr. Singh said that BJP which was voted to power in the country and the state had failed to realize its grandiloquent promise of good governance, development, employment opportunities, literacy, poverty alleviation, etc and was only indulging in rabble rousing and hollow rants for vote bank politics. He said that NPP shall agitate on every nook and corner of Jammu Pradesh to expose, oppose and depose the BJP for its duplicity, deceit and betrayals. He asked the GoI to immediately withdraw the massive excise duty and other taxes imposed on diesel and petrol to provide relief to the common man against the spiraling prices of gas and fuel.
Prominent among those who spoke on the occasion included Rajesh Padgotra, Gagan Pratap Singh, Khajoor Singh, Surinder Chouhan, Rajeshwar Sambyal, Mohinder Singh, Vishab Singh, Yashpaul Sharma, Arun Khajuria, Shankaar Singh Sanju, Rashpaul Singh, Vijay Singh besides others.