Haryana Congress holds statewide protest against fuel price hike
The Haryana unit of the Congress on Monday held statewide protests against the hike in fuel prices, with party leaders saying it is bound to have a cascading effect and burden the common people who are already facing hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Protests were held across the state, including Karnal, Rohtak, Yamunanagar, Faridabad, Sirsa and other places.
Haryana Congress president Kumari Selja led the protest in Karnal, which is Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar''s home constituency.
She said despite international crude oil prices being at their lowest, the Centre, instead of passing on the benefits to the common people by lowering the prices, is constantly hiking fuel prices.
Selja said when the Congress-led UPA was in power, relief was given to people even though international crude oil prices were soaring while the Modi government has been raising petrol and diesel prices, burdening the common people and the farmers already facing hardships due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Selja said the rise in fuel prices has affected every section of society, including farmers, common citizens, transport sector and the middle class.
"The Centre has repeatedly been hiking prices for the past three weeks. If this hike continues, it will lead to inflation, transport will be costly, the economy which is already in bad shape will further deteriorate.
"By such steps, the government is indulging in profiteering and not helping anyone to become Atma Nirbhar (self-reliant)," Selja told reporters in Karnal on the sidelines of the protest.
She demanded immediate roll-back of the prices.
"The government is raising fuel prices and burdening the common citizens. We will raise your voice and fight your battle. We are with you, the entire Congress is with you," Selja said, interacting with an auto rickshaw driver.
Hitting out at the Centre, former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said every section, including the farmers have been hit hard by the hike in fuel prices.
"This government talked about doubling the income of farmers by 2022, but now it seems they are going to double the input cost of the farmers by then," Hooda, who is Leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly, said.
He said prices of petrol and diesel are nearly Rs 80 per litre despite international crude oil prices being very low.
Hooda further said the farmers have been hit the hardest as they are dependent on diesel for irrigation and transport.
"The rising petrol and diesel prices are bound to have a cascading effect and will lead to increase in prices of other essentials...it will lead to inflation," said Hooda, demanding a rollback of the hiked prices.
Diesel price on Monday scaled a new high after prices were hiked for the 22nd time in just over three weeks, taking the cumulative increase to Rs 11.14 per litre.
Petrol price was increased by 5 paise per litre and diesel 13 paise a litre across the country, according to a price notification of state oil marketing companies.