Lockdown norms go for toss in Cong rally against price rise

Bengaluru, June 29 (PTI): Social distancing and all the norms to contain coronavirus allegedly went for a toss when a large number of Congress workers staged a demonstration against the fuel price hike here on Monday.

Following a nationwide call for the protest against the hike, the Congress leaders, led by Karnataka state president D K Shivakumar and former chief minister Siddaramaiah, took out a bicycle rally upto the Congress office.

The rally converged on the party office where a sit-in demonstration was on.

There was no social distancing as leaders sat side-by- side. There was no adherence to the rule prohibiting the congregation of more than five people and majority of them did not bother to put on masks.

The demonstrators raised slogans against the central government holding placards and posters.

Later addressing the gathering, Siddaramaiah said there is a rise in the prices of all commodities.

'When Manmohan Singh was the Prime Minister, fuel prices never went up beyond Rs 75. Today, not just fuel but also there is a steep rise in prices of all the commodities. It is becoming hard for the common man to survive at present times,' Siddaramaiah told the gathering.

The administration found itself helpless to control the crowd that threw all the norms to the wind to contain coronavirus.

The demonstration took place at a time when Bengaluru is witnessing an unprecedented rise in coronavirus cases. On Sunday evening, 1,267 coronavirus cases were confirmed in the state of which 783 were in the city alone whereas on Saturday there were 918 cases in the state of which about 400 were in the city.

The city also constitutes for highest mortalities due to this communicable disease in the state.

Diesel price has scaled a new high after prices were hiked for the 22nd time in just over three weeks, taking the cumulative increase to Rs 11.14 per litre.

Petrol price was increased by 5 paise per litre and diesel 13 paise a litre across the country. PTI GMS NVG NVG