Ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Tuesday threatened countrywide protests if the Centre does not check rising fuel prices. “For the last 16 days, prices of petrol and diesel have increased. This is affecting the transport system across the country. The central government is taking anti-people decisions one after another. If they do not check the abnormal rise of petrol and diesel prices, we will organise protests across the country including in the national capital,’’ said TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee as top leaders of the ruling party staged a five-hour sit-in in front of the Gandhi statue at Esplanade to protest against the rising fuel prices.
“We will not keep quiet unless something is done to reduce the fuel price,” Banerjee said, adding the excise duty had increased more than 20 times over the last four years. “Why was the excise duty increased and to suit whose interest?’’ Banerjee asked. He announced another sit-in across the state against the rising fuel prices on Thursday.
Banerjee asked the people to vote out the Narendra Modi government while saying the process had begun with the BJP’s failure to form government in Karnataka. “We have to bowl out the BJP government from power before petrol and diesel prices reach Rs 100. We have to make sure that they are not allowed to adopt anti-people policies.”
He accused the BJP-led central government of using agencies such as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Enforcement Directorate and the Income Tax department to silence political opponents across the country. “They are using these agencies to frighten political parties raising their voice against them. But they must remember that TMC cannot be intimidated. We know how to fight it out. The CBI could not do anything to us. They had arrested our leader Madan Mitra. But what happened after that? Mitra came out like a tiger.”
TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee also addressed the gathering. Participants returned to their homes from the dharna site on foot as a mark of protest.