Jammu: Cong protests against rising fuel prices, inflation; senior leaders court arrest

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Jammu, Mar 22 (PTI) All India Congress Committee (AICC) in-charge for Jammu and Kashmir Rajni Patil and senior leader G A Mir along with hundreds of party workers on Monday protested against the BJP-led government at the centre over “rising” fuel prices, inflation and unemployment in the country.

Led by the duo, Congress workers carrying party flags, took out a rally in the exhibition ground area of Jammu city and raised slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Some of the Congress workers clashed briefly with police as they were not allowed to move ahead towards the civil secretariat.

The protesters blocked roads in the area for over an hour leading to traffic jams and over 200 Congress workers and leaders including Patil and Mir, who is the Jammu and Kashmir Congress chief, courted arrest.

They were detained briefly by police and then let off.

The protesters claimed inflation has broken the back of the common man and the prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas are touching the sky.

'This is a country wide agitation by the Congress against rising inflation, fuel and LPG prices, and unemployment. We are also holding protests here as a part of the agitation started by Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi,' Patil told reporters here.

She demanded that the BJP government provide “immediate relief” to the people.

'Petrol and diesel prices have been raised relentlessly and all BJP luminaries who protested vociferously and wittily about oil prices during the UPA rule are now silent,' she said.

Mir too lashed out at the BJP for making “false promises” to the people to hide their consistent failures.

'So far, the BJP has only befooled people with false promises. Being the ruling party at the Centre and having secured heavy mandate in the elections in Jammu region, it totally failed to address the genuine problems and concerns of the people,' he said.

He claimed that the central government and UT administration took several decisions against the wishes and aspirations of the people and the decision to levy property tax in Jammu and Kashmir is one of them.

'The public will be adversely affected and there is possibly no good that can come out of this (levying property tax) that outweighs the hardships it will cause. It is not plausible that a tax like this is being implemented at this point,' Mir said.

Lakhs of jobs have been lost and the economy is at its lowest ebb but still petrol and diesel prices and inflation are increasing day by day, he alleged.

'We have to keep challenging the government unless it wakes up and rolls back these decisions,' he said. PTI AB RHL