Riding cycles, cycle rickshaws and even bullock carts, a large number of Bharatiya Janata Party workers held a demonstration on Parliament Street here on Tuesday to protest against the rise in the prices of all essential commodities and the recent hike in petrol prices.
Led by Delhi BJP president Vijender Gupta, the protesters, who included eight MLAs, raised slogans against the ``anti-people’’ policies of the Congress-led Government at the Centre. After being addressed by the party leaders, the protesters moved towards Parliament. They broke through some of the police barricades and later courted arrest when the police used water canons to disperse them and prevented their further advance towards Parliament.
Earlier, addressing the protesters, Mr. Gupta charged that the Central Government was playing a ``double game’’ to demoralise the people. ``On the one hand the Group of Ministers is formed on paper to curb price spiral and on the other the Government is trying to deprive the common man of his bread by increasing the price of petrol by Rs.5.50 within a month.’’
``Nowhere in the world is the tax on oil so high as it is in India,’’ he said, adding that ``here the Government recovers more tax than the price of oil’’. Mr. Gupta said if the UPA Government were to only abolish the customs duty from the price of oil and the Delhi Government reduces the local tax, the price of oil could in fact go down. ``But all the policies and schemes of this anti-people Government are against the common man and in favour of the corporate world,’’ he said.
Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly Vijay Kumar Malhotra said ``This Government is taking such steps in the name of curbing price spiral which are actually fuelling the price rise on a daily basis.’’
The other prominent leaders who participated in the protest included former Chief Minister Madan Lal Khurana, MLAs Jagdish Mukhi and Ramesh Bidhuri, former MLA Vijay Jolly and senior Delhi BJP leaders O.P. Kohli, Subhash Arya and Pawan Sharma.