Under the ‘Bharat Bandh’ called by the Delhi Congress on Monday, party workers staged dharnas at petrol pumps across the city against the hike in petrol and diesel prices. Senior Congress leaders, including Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken, rode a bullock cart to a petrol pump near Rajendra Place to register their protest.
Hitting out at the opposition over the rise in fuel prices, Maken demanded that petrol and diesel be brought under GST.
“During the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre in 2014, excise duty on petrol per litre was Rs 9.20. But the Modi government hiked it to Rs 19.48 per litre of petrol, which means that there has been a 211.7% hike,” said Maken, addressing Congress workers at a petrol pump near Siddharth Hotel .
“Similarly, in May 2014, the excise duty per litre of diesel was Rs 3.46, but the Modi government hiked it to Rs 15.33 per litre of diesel — an increase of 443.06%,” he added.
Among those present in the rally was Congress leader Sajjan Kumar, an accused in the 1984 Sikh riots. Sources, however, said that he chose to show up as all former Congress MLAs and MPs had been invited.
Meanwhile, people had a hard time finding transportation, with app-based cab aggregators increasing fare manifold. Traffic was affected in Daryaganj, Ramlila Maidan and the area around Rajghat as opposition parties, led by Congress president Rahul Gandhi, marched from Rajghat to Ramlila Maidan.
However, police were deployed at petrol pumps, and motorcycle patrols were put on high alert, a senior police officer said.
AAP leaders Atishi and CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury, too, staged a protest at Jantar Mantar. “When petrol prices are hiked, it affects the prices of other commodities and leads to price rise. All the promises made by BJP ahead of elections are now falling flat,” Atishi said.