Slamming inflation and accusing the Congress-led UPA government of adopting wrong policies,workers and leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) held a protest and courted arrest in Chandigarh on Friday. Around 953 protesters courted arrest as part of the partys nationwide call for a jail bharo andolan.
Over the past fortnight,protests have taken place at various parts of the city. On Friday,the BJP members gathered at the Sector 7-8-18-19 roundabout,where a tent had been erected at one corner to accommodate them.
While some of the agitators reached the venue by foot,most were ferried in buses. With Section 144 in place at sectors 5,6,7 and 8,police had barricaded the area. After being addressed by their leaders,the BJP workers began moving towards the barricades. Shouting slogans,the protesters managed to cross one set of barricades but were stopped at the next one. In the melee,a few women,from among the protesters,fell down but were rescued by the others.
The BJP workers and leaders later courted arrest. They boarded the buses,that were in place for the purpose,and were taken to the Sector 26 police station and later released. Those who did not find place on the buses,either walked or drove to the police station.
The protesters were led by the partys national general secretary J P Nadda,president of the BJPs city unit Sanjay Tandon,former MP Satya Pal Jain and senior leader Harmohan Dhawan,among others. The common theme among the leaders speeches was the Centres inability to check rising prices of essential commodities and the fuel hike.
Nadda accused the Congress-led central government of being responsible for the sufferings of the common man. He added that the Congress had no moral right to remain in power. Nadda further said that prices were increasing due to the corrupt practices of Congress leaders and ministers of the UPA Government.
It seems that pickpockets had a field day on Friday as a number of BJP members claimed that their wallets were missing after the protest. The members were seen ruing about the cash and cards that went missing once the protest came to an end.