BHUBANESWAR: The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Monday hits the streets protesting the unprecedented hike in the prices of petrol and diesel. Launching a three-day statewide agitation against the Centre, BJD leaders and party activists staged a demonstration near Raj Bhawan to protest the soaring fuel price. Later, a delegation of the party submitted a memorandum to the President through the Governor.
Similar demonstrations and meetings were held in all the 314 blocks of the State. BJD vice-president Debi Prasad Mishra said the unrelenting fuel price hike has hit all sections of the society. The poor and the middle class people are the worst affected. There is no reason for increasing the prices of petrol and diesel when the international crude oil prices are cheaper.
Lashing out at the Centre for protecting the interest of the oil marketing companies at the cost of the people, Finance Minister Sashi Bhusan Behera said the Centre should go for further reduction in excise duty instead of advising the State Government to cut VAT which is much lower than BJP ruled States.
Reacting to the BJD’s protest, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the State Government is only shedding crocodile tears. It should take steps to reduce tax on petrol and diesel to ease the burden of consumers.