Staff Reporter

Hike has broken backbone of “aam aadmi”, says BJP

NEW DELHI: Delhi BJP leaders rode bicycles and bullock-carts to Jantar Mantar here on Friday to protest against the increase in the prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas announced by the Centre.

The protesters, led by Delhi BJP president Harsh Vardhan, broke the police barriers and tried to march to Parliament.

However, the police resorted to use of water cannons to stop their march and arrested them.

Addressing the workers, Dr. Vardhan, who had himself taken a bicycle to reach the protest venue, said the Congress had imposed an “economic emergency” on the country by depriving the common man of his daily bread.

The effect of the increase in prices of oil and gas had started showing and inflation had shot up.

Dr. Vardhan also accused the Left of shedding crocodile tears over the issue. As for the subsidy of Rs.40 on every LPG cylinder announced by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, he said it would only end up in stopping the development of the Capital.

Senior BJP leader Vijay Kumar Malhotra, who along with general secretary Vijay Goel and Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Assembly Jagdish Mukhi reached Jantar Mantar on a bullock-cart, said that in these days of Congress rule people were suffering more than ever before. “The Congress record showed that whenever it had come to power it had made the lives of people hell,” he charged and expressed confidence that the Congress would be routed in the forthcoming Delhi Assembly and Lok Sabha elections.

Mr. Vijay Goel said that instead of harassing the people with the price rise, the Centre should have further cut down duties on oil and gas so that their prices did not go up. He also demanded a check on black-marketing of cooking gas that was proving to be a drain on public money.

Prof. Mukhi said this was the highest ever increase in the prices of oil and gas. Coming at a time when people were already burdened by an acute jump in the prices of all essential commodities, he said this hike has broken the backbone of the “aam aadmi” (common man).

He demanded that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh step in and immediately order a rollback of the increase in fuel prices.