JAMMU/ SRINAGAR, Sept 10: While the `Bharat Bandh’ call given by Congress Party had no impact in Jammu and many other towns in the region and parts of Kashmir, Congress activists staged a massive protests across the State, against the Union Government on the issue of rising fuel prices in the country.
Demanding immediate reduction in Central Excise duty and excessive VAT in the States and bring petrol and diesel within the GST regime, a large number of Congress leaders and activists including senior functionaries of PCC, DCC and leaders of frontal organizations including Youth Congress, Mahila Congress, INTUC and Congress Seva Dal held a strong protest demonstration at Satwari Chowk, Jammu against the BJP Govt at the Centre over the unprecedented hike of petrol, diesel, LPG and other commodities of common use.
Led by PCC vice president and former Minister, Raman Bhalla, Dr Shakeel Ahmed Khan Secretary AICC, besides other prominent senior leaders include Ex- MP Madan Lal Sharma, Th Balwan Singh, Indu Pawar, SS Shangari, Shiv Dev Singh, Kanta Bhan, Manmohan Singh, Vikram Malhotra, Narmata Sharma, Gurdarshan Singh, Dr Ramakant Khajuria, Satish Sharma, Amrit Bali, Manjeet Singh Jatt, Lalita Sharma, Ashok Sharma and many others, the Congress activists took out a protest demonstration having placards in hands and raising slogans against the Modi led NDA Govt over the issue of unprecedented hike during the past four years causing great hardships to poor people.
Raman Bhalla along with about 200 prominent leaders and workers were peacefully proceeding towards Bikram Chowk, when they were arrested by police and taken to District Police Lines near Women College Gandhi Nagar. They were however, released in the afternoon.
Earlier, addressing the protesters, Dr Shakeel Ahmed Khan said that in the current scenario, there could be a strong case for bringing petrol and diesel under the GST, care ratings. “With the sharp recovery of crude oil prices globally and with the increase in the prices of the auto fuels, the inclusion of petrol and diesel under the GST will help in rationalizing the prices of these auto fuels,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion Bhalla said, ”Post May 26, 2014, International crude oil prices have come down by more than 30 per cent. The BJP Government earned a windfall of Rs 7.35 lakh crore by levying various Central Taxes on petrol/diesel (Till the Q2 of 2017-18). Where has the money gone? Instead of passing the benefit to ordinary Indians, they got brutally taxed by BJP. There has been a 211.7 per cent hike in Excise Duty of petrol since May 2014 while 443.06 per cent on diesel. The Central Excise duty has been hiked 12 times since BJP came to power,” he added
Some parts of Kathua town, observed bandh for several hours however, the market was opened after 2 pm. The Congress activists held protest at Kalibari under the leadership of Naresh Sharma senior leader while another protest led by DCC Kathua president, Dr Manohar Lal and ex-MLC Subhash Gupta was held at Dayala Chak. The Congress workers also disrupted movement of traffic for some time and burnt effigies of Narendra Modi.
The protest demonstrations were also held at Samba led by Parkash Sharma and Vinod Mishra; at Vijaypur led by Manjit Singh, Bishnah by Shashi Sharma and others; Sunderbani led by PCC chief spokesperson Ravinder Sharma, Udhampur led by DCC chief and ex-MLA Krishan C Bhagat, Rajouri led by Shabir Khan new DCC president; Poonch led by DCC president Abdul Ghani, Doda led by Majid Wani and others. However, there was no bandh at all in these towns and vehicles were also operating normally.
A massive protest demonstration was held at Srinagar today by the Congress Party over unabated rising prices on petroleum gas products in the country.
Led by J&K Pradesh Congress Committee president GA Mir, a large number of senior Congress leaders and workers held a protest demonstration at Party office, MA Road and marched towards the TRC (Srinagar) raising slogans against ‘fuel loot’ by Modi Govt carrying banners and placards.
Prominent among them included AICC observer and spokesperson Meem Afzal, former PCC president Peerzada Mohd Syed, former minister Taj Mohi- U- Din, MLC – Gulam Nabi Monga, Mohd Anwar Bhat, MLC Mohd Muzaffar Parray, spokesperson Farooq Andrabi, Surinder Singh Channi, Shameema Iqbal, Gulam Nabi Mir Lasjan, Abdul Gani Khan, Abid Kashmiri, Irfan Naqib, Zahid Hussain Jan, Imtiyaz Parray, Fayaz Ahmad Dar, Tariq Tenga, Shameema Raina and others.
Accusing the Modi Government of Keeping the country in dark over unabated rise on petroleum/gas products, PCC president GA Mir said that this protest was an expression of complete failure of the Government on the pressing issues containing the price rise o/gas products.
He said the price of crude oil was $107.09/barrel on May 16, 2014 while the present price of international crude is $73/barrel, nearly 40% the price during Congress UPA. Still, the petrol /diesel price continue to skyrocket at higher level during Modi Govt instead of reducing the excise and taxes on petroleum products, Modi Govt has preferred not to touch the taxes imposed to reduce the petroleum prices. He said the horrific taxes being levied by the Modi Govt has resulted in skyrocketing petrol, diesel and cooking gas prices, while as the Govt has already collected over Rs 11 lakh crore as taxes in the last 52 month by cheating the common people of this country and by demolishing their budget and their house hold income.
Similar, demonstration was held in Qazigund, which was led by MLA Devsar, Mohd Amin Bhat, where senior leaders of Kulgam district also participated.
In Anantng the protest demonstration was led by general secretary PCC Hilal Ahmad Shah and District president Gh Mohi- u- din Bhat. MLA Shangus Gulzar Ahmad Wani also participated. A protest demonstration was also held at Kupwara which was led by DCC president Farooq Mir