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Tuesday, July 07, 2020

Tejashwi Yadav, Digvijaya Singh take out cycle protests against fuel price hike

Congress leader Digvijaya Singh along with party workers had taken out a cycle protest in Bhopal against the continuous hike, following which an FIR was registered against him and 150 other party workers under Sections 341,188,143, 269 and 270 of the Indian Penal code (IPC).

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: June 25, 2020 12:18:26 pm
Fuel price hike, Opposition protest against fuel price hike, Tejashwi Yadav bicycle ride, Digvijay Singh bicycle protests, Digvijaya Singh (L), Tejashwi and Tej Pratap Yadav (R) ride bicycles to protest against the continuous fuel price hike. (PTI/Video grab)

Back-to-back hike in fuel prices in the last 19 days have led opposition leaders to hit the streets. On Thursday, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leaders Tejashwi Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav rode bicycles along with party workers in Patna to mark their protest.

While on Wednesday, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh and his party workers had taken out a similar protest in Bhopal against the continuous hike, following which an FIR was registered against him and 150 other party workers under Sections 341,188,143, 269 and 270 of the Indian Penal code (IPC). Digvijaya had led the bicycle protest from Roshanpur Square at 11 am to chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s residence area.

Former chief minister Kamal Nath on Tuesday claimed that fuel prices in Madhya Pradesh were the highest in the country. He demanded the Union and state government to immediately roll-back its decision to increase taxes on fuel.

On June 22, National Students’ Union of India had also staged a protest in Delhi against the same.

On June 16, Congress president Sonia Gandhi had hit out at the BJP government over the latest increase in petrol and diesel prices. Accusing the Centre of “profiteering” off the people, Sonia had said the fuel price hikes are saddling them with an additional burden of “enormous magnitude” that is neither justified nor appropriate.

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Gandhi had requested the increases in fuel prices be rolled back so that the benefit of low oil prices can be passed on to the people. “If you wish for them to be ‘self-reliant’, then do not place financial fetters on their ability to move forward… Please use the government’s resources to put money directly into the hands of those who need it in this time of severe hardship,” she said.

On Wednesday, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also took a swipe at the Modi government over the increase in fuel prices and the mounting COVID-19 cases in the country, saying it has “unlocked” the coronavirus pandemic and petrol-diesel prices. “The Modi government has ‘unlocked’ the corona pandemic and prices of petrol-diesel,” he said in a tweet in Hindi.

Even BJP ally Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) asked the Centre to roll back the hike, while the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Punjab said it is planning an agitation over the matter.

Farmers unions too held a meeting in Barnala Monday in which they announced dharans at sub-division level on June 30.

On June 7, oil companies restarted revising prices in line with costs after ending an 82-day hiatus in rate revision. The prices differs from state to state depending on the local sales tax or value added tax (VAT). Diesel price in Delhi crossed the Rs 80 per litre-mark for the first time ever on Thursday as oil companies raised prices for the 19th day, taking the cumulative rate to Rs 10.63 a litre.

Petrol price in Delhi was hiked to Rs 79.92 per litre from Rs 79.76, while diesel rates were increased to Rs 80.02 a litre from Rs 79.88, according to a price notification of state oil marketing companies.

Meanwhile, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) on Wednesday reported a net loss of Rs 5,185 crore in the quarter ended March 31, 2020, down from a net profit of Rs 6,099 crore in the year-ago period, due to large inventory losses and lower refining margins. Net profit for FY20 ended at Rs 1,313 crore, compared to a net profit of Rs 16,894 crore in FY19.

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