Chandigarh, Jun 29 (PTI) The Punjab Congress on Monday held a statewide protest against the fuel price hike by the BJP-led Centre, asserting that it has dealt a major blow to the farming community.
The agitating Congress leaders and workers rode horse carts with their scooters loaded on them and pulled tractor with ropes as a mark of protest against the fuel price hike and demanded from the Centre to roll back the same.
Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar led the protest against fuel price hike at Nawanshahr district and slammed the Centre for raising the fuel prices repeatedly every few days despite the international crude oil prices remaining low.
Jakhar along with MLA Angad Saini, Punjab Youth Congress chief Barinder Dhillon and other local leaders pulled a tractor with ropes there.
Jakhar said the continuous hike in diesel rates has put an additional financial burden on the farming community, amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“Farmers cannot afford to run tractors now with such a steep hike in diesel rates,” he said.
Rather than doubling farmers' income which the BJP had promised, they are punishing them with an increase in fuel rates, said Jakhar.
“Farmers have performed exceedingly well despite the coronavirus pandemic by producing 127 lakh tonne of wheat in Punjab. Rather than giving some encouragement to them, the government is punishing them,” Jakhar said.
The protest was organised to pressurise the Centre to roll back the increase in fuel prices, he said.
In Amritsar, the Congress leaders rode horse carts carrying their scooters on them it as a mark of protest.
“People are already facing hardships because of the COVID-19 and now, the government has added to their woes by increasing fuel prices,” said a Congress leader in Amritsar.
Congress workers staged a protest against the fuel price hike in Chandigarh also.
Senior Congress leader and former Union minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, Chandigarh Congress unit chief Pradeep Chhabra and other party leaders lashed out at the Centre over the steep hikes petrol and diesel prices.
They raised slogans against the Centre and demanded its rollback.
Chhabra said the Centre was imposing a financial burden on people by raising fuel rates despite the crude oil prices in the international market remaining low. PTI CHS VSD RAX RAX