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Updated: July 11, 2012 11:54 IST

BJP protests all over Delhi against hike in CNG prices

Special Correspondent
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Bharatiya Janata Party workers riding a bullockcartduring their protest against the hike in CNG prices in New Delhi on Tuesday. Photo:PTI
Bharatiya Janata Party workers riding a bullockcartduring their protest against the hike in CNG prices in New Delhi on Tuesday. Photo:PTI

State BJP president Vijender Gupta led the demonstration in Karol Bagh where a large number of party workers courted arrest.

The Delhi unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday demonstrated at 14 places across the city to demand a rollback of the hike in compressed natural gas (CNG) prices effected by the Central Government recently. The party leaders also carried out a signature campaign in support of the demand and charged that scams in exploration of gas were responsible for the artificial scarcity.

State BJP president Vijender Gupta led the demonstration in Karol Bagh where a large number of party workers courted arrest.

Addressing the protesters, he said the Congress Government has only been successful in increasing the problems of the people by burdening them financially through repeated price and tariff hikes.

He said the hike of Rs.2.90 per kg in CNG effected this time was the steepest so far and would impact the household budgets immensely by pushing up the transportation costs.

Mr. Gupta said the Congress Government has been in power in Delhi for the last 14 years and in each of these people have witnessed continuous price rise along with rampant corruption, scams and imposition of new and higher taxes. “No one is listening to the common man and scant regard is being paid to his plight. About seven lakh people are already learnt to have migrated from Delhi due to the hellish conditions here,’’ he claimed.

Incidentally, Mr. Gupta and the other BJP leaders too directed their anger for the CNG hike on Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit while Delhi Government has little role to play in its tariff policy as gas supply comes under the Centre through the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.

Senior BJP leaders came out on the streets to protest against the hike in different parts of the city. In Chandni Chowk, the protest was led by former Union Minister and party national general secretary Vijay Goel who boarded DTC buses and spoke to the passengers about the hike as part of his agitation style.

Mr. Goel also cautioned that a hike in the price of PNG ( Piped Natural Gas) could be on the cards next as the premise of increase in natural gas prices has been taken for increasing the CNG rates.

“After making a large number of people shift from LPG cooking gas cylinders to PNG, the Government has been systematically increasing its rates too which have gone up by about 75 per cent in the last few years,’’ he said.

The BJP leader charged that rampant corruption in the natural gas sector was responsible for the artificially created scarcity of gas and its increasing costs. “A direct fall out of this created scarcity is that power houses with a capacity of more than 12,000 MW are in a state of non-operation and this includes the Bawana power plant, which is operating below capacity.’’

International price rise

He said the Government blames the international price rise in natural gas for the hike but demanded to know “what exactly is the status of indigenous natural gas wells’’ from where production was earlier anticipated when the Congress regime went on a spree of expanding the CNG and PNG network.

In some other parts of the city, the BJP workers took out bullock carts to signify how the hike in CNG prices would impact the movement of the masses by public road transport as in Delhi it has been completely shifted to what was once considered a cheap fuel.

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