Karnataka Pradesh Mahila Congress president Manjula Naidu on Friday demanded that Minister for Energy Shobha Karandlaje immediately withdraw the notification issued by the Department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs directing liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) consumers to furnish proof of their electricity connections and ration cards. Ms. Karandlaje holds the additional portfolio of Food and Civil Supplies.
Speaking to presspersons, Ms. Naidu said measure had put the consumers, mostly labour class, unorganised sector and lower middle class families, especially women, to a lot of hardship. The consumers were under the mercy of the LPG distributors, who were harassing them by not supplying gas cylinders on time. Already, the consumers were not getting gas cylinders regularly and they had to book it only after 28 days of the previous booking. Then, they had to wait for another eight days, she said.
Taking a dig at the Minister, she said the consumers had furnished all details of their family members, addresses and identity. Moreover, it was the duty of either the vigilance cell working in each gas supplying company or her Department officials to collect the same from the companies concerned or distributors and not the customers.
Ms. Naidu said that if the Minister had any intention of detecting the mafia in the gas supplying sector and punish them, she should pull up the officials in her Department and not innocent consumers.
She said the subsidised LPG was supplied to the consumers by the Union Government and asked why the State Government was harassing the public.
The Mahila Congress, she said, would organise a public meeting and a dharna near the Mahatma Gandhi statue near Ananda Rao Circle on Friday to protest against this anti-people move.
All the 33 district units would organise similar programmes. She said that the protest would be intensified if the notification was not withdrawn.
Senior leaders such as Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council Motamma, Rani Satish, Bimba Raicker and Mallajamma would participate in the dharna.