Kolkata

Mamata Banerjee rides electric bike to West Bengal Secretariat to protest against fuel hike

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee protests against fuel price hike.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Staging a unique protest against the rising prices of petroleum products, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday rode an electric scooter to the State Secretariat and later in the day returned home on the same vehicle.

Also read: Petrol at ₹100 | PM Modi blames previous governments for not cutting import dependence

On the way back from Nabanna (Secretariat), Ms. Banerjee decided her try her hand at driving the scooter. From the Secretariat to the Vidyasagar Setu and later, on Harish Mukherjee Road, Ms. Banerjee, who has not driven a scooter in her life, tried her hand at driving with the support of her security staff. She had reached the Secretariat riding pillion with Minister for Urban Development Firhad Hakim.

“We are protesting against the manner in which the prices of petroleum products and cooking gas have been increased. The price of LPG cylinder is ₹800. Kerosene is not being made available in the State. What was the price of LPG when the Narendra Modi government came to power?,” she told journalists at the Secretariat.

Later in the evening, she said that even when the crude prices were going down, the prices of petroleum products were going up by 100 percent. “How is it rising, who all are behind this, there is a big mystery behind this. In order to hide this, they are spreading lies from time to time,” the she alleged. She appealed to political parties in the Opposition, including the Shiv Sena and the DMK and the Communist parties in Kerala to protests against the rise in prices of petroleum products. “We will start out protest in a big way all across Bengal, and we request the people of the country to also take to the streets in protest,” she observed.

‘PM must go’

The Chief Minister went on to say that the Prime Minister should resign if the prices of petroleum products were not reduced.

Also read: Data | For every Rs 100 spent on petrol by Indians, ₹63 goes to Centre and State as tax in Dec. 2020

“The price of LPG was ₹400 before Narendra Modi came to power Either he should reduce the price to ₹400 or should go away from power,” she said. Farmers were sitting on the road protesting and if the common man started protesting then, “the Modi government won’t survive, however much they use the Central agencies”.

BJP State president and Lok Sabha member Dilip Ghosh took a swipe at the manner in which the Chief Minister rode a scooter with police help. “Just as she is running the government with the assistance of Prashant Kishor, similarly she is riding a scooter – she can do neither properly. The issue of the fluctuating petrol and diesel prices is not a new one… Doing such drama is the only way she is being able to keep herself in the news,” he stated.

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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 5:16:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/mamata-banerjee-rides-electric-bike-to-west-bengal-secretariat-to-protest-against-fuel-hike/article33930264.ece

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