Congress workers, farmers block highways, roads in Gujarat

Congress leaders and workers demanded farm loan waiver, hike in minimum support price and reduction in cost of fertiliser.

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad | Published:June 17, 2017 4:37 am
A Congress worker being detained during the party’s ‘rasta roko’ protest on National Highway 8 near Dethan village in Karjan taluka of Vadodara on Friday. (Express Photo by Bhuprendra Rana)

More than 4,000 Congress workers were reportedly detained Friday across Gujarat for blocking traffic on national and state highways as part of the “rasta roko (road blockade)” agitation in support of farmers’ demands. During the protest, state Congress leaders and workers demanded farm loan waiver, hike in minimum support price, reduction in costs for fertiliser, pesticides, seeds and other agricultural inputs, besides adequate supply of power and water for irrigation.

There was no report of violence from anywhere in the state during the agitation. At Amirgarh in Banskantha district, Congress workers and farmers cut trees to block the road. In Deodar, Lakhni, Dhanera and Deesa, farmers blocked the state highway for about two hours by putting stones and burning tyres on the road. In Danta, they dumped potatoes to put obstruction on the roads. In Gandhinagar, Congress workers jammed a road near Gift city.

They dumped road building materials to block the road at many places in the state capital. In Porbander, Congress workers obstructed the traffic by burning tyres near Narsinh Tekjri on the national highway. Former state party president Arjun Modhwadia, who led the blockade in Porbander, said that the party workers squatted on the road at several places on the outskirts of the town to block the traffic. Former MP Jagdish Thakore said that the road blockade protest was highly successful in Patan and Aravalli district. State party spokesperson Manish Doshi said that party workers blocked roads all over the state in support of farmers’ demands. He said BJP governments in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra were anti-farmers.

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