A large number of leaders and workers of the Delhi BJP took out a protest march from the party office at 14 Pandit Pant Marg to Parliament on Tuesday to protest against the increase in the prices of petrol and diesel.

The protesters led by Delhi BJP president O. P. Kohli and Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly V. K. Malhotra approached Parliament in large numbers from a route on which demonstrations are not allowed. The police blocked their way by putting up barricades and when the protesters tried to break the cordon, water cannons were used to disperse them. The party leaders and workers later courted arrest.

Addressing the protesters, Prof. Kohli said the steep hike in the prices of petrol and diesel would only add to the inflationary trend and lead to a further increase in the prices of other commodities.

Stating that the transportation costs were bound to go up as a result of the hike, Prof. Kohli said this would also make loading and unloading of goods more expensive and result in a cascading effect that would ultimate result in a rise in the prices of milk, vegetables and food grains.

The Delhi BJP president charged that there was “connivance between hoarders, profiteers and the UPA Government, which has failed in the management of economy’’. He charged that the country was witnessing a “back-breaking price spiral due to the wrong economic policies of the Congress Government’’.

Prof. Malhotra also attacked the UPA Government for creating a situation in which the ordinary citizens were finding it difficult to make ends meet. He called upon party workers to prepare for a long struggle ahead against price rise.

“It is a proven fact that whenever the Congress comes to power prices increase,” he alleged, adding that the rule of the BJP-led NDA had only confirmed this charge. “Due to the correct economic policies of the NDA Government there was control on the prices and the commodities needed by the common man were easily available at affordable rates.’’

Meanwhile, the Delhi BJP has started a signature campaign for a memorandum that would be submitted to the President against price rise.

More In: Delhi