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J&K Congress protests fuel hike, demands roll back of prices

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Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir Congress workers, with some riding a horse-cart, on Monday held a protest against the continuous hike in petrol and diesel prices here and demanded immediate roll back of the rates to lower the burden on the common man.

The protest was organised by the Congress’ Jammu East unit outside the party headquarters at Residency Road and chanted slogans against the Central government for its failure to keep fuel prices in check.

However, the protesters later dispersed off peacefully after walking some distance, officials said.

Pradesh Congress Committee chief spokesperson Ravinder Sharma said the Centre has crossed all limits by continuously increasing the petrol and diesel prices, thus burdening the common man at a time of the worst economic crisis due to COVID-19 pandemic.

“The unprecedented hike in petrol and diesel rates during the past 15 days has brought the prices to touch sky-high levels despite low rates of crude oil in the international market. The government is insensitive to the plight of poor and common man who is worst hit due to economic slowdown amid covid-19 crisis,” Sharma said.

He said the “anti-people” and “unsympathetic approach” of the Modi government is totally “unacceptable” and the government should roll back the prices of petrol and diesel in order to bring down the rates of all other commodities.

Meanwhile, National Panthers Party (NPP) chairman and former minister Harsh Dev Singh also criticised the government over the frequent fuel hike and said, “The increase in the cost of petrol and diesel on day to day basis was highly unjustified and atrocious despite a precipitous fall in the global prices of crude oil.”

He said not only was petrol and diesel being provided at exorbitant rates by the present regime, the prices of other essential commodities like cooking gas and eatables had also skyrocketed during the BJP-led government.

“While the cost of living multiplied many fold due to inflationary tendencies, the government had failed to generate avenues of livelihood for the people. The last few years have witnessed an increase in unemployment rate and huge retrenchment in the government as well as private sector,” he said.

Singh alleged that inflation and unemployment had become the hallmark of the BJP government with the people and marginalised sections bearing the brunt of policy paralysis of the present regime.

Calling for roll back of the increase in petrol and diesel prices, Singh said that increased fuel prices would have a cascading effect on the prices of all other commodities.

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