Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president Ch. Anil Kumar said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has pushed the people of the country to the brink of ruin, with his arbitrary decision to hike the prices of petrol, diesel, CNG, cooking gas and PNG for the past 15 days to collect over Rs 26 lakh of crore in Excise Duty, which he has been using for his lavish governance and construction work at Central Vista, to help benefit his rich business friends, at the cost of the poor in the country. He said that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind, who claims to champion the cause of the poor and the downtrodden, has turned a blind eye for the demand to reduce VAT on petrol and diesel, as he acts at the behest of Prime Minister Modi, and no wonder, prices of all goods have risen sharply. He said that a kg of lemon costs Rs 300 in Delhi while CM Arvind has allowed 25 per cent discount on liquor bottles.
Addressing thousands of Congress workers at Jantar Mantar, where people gathered from across the Capital to protest against the constant hike in the prices of petroleum products, as part of the Congress party’s ongoing “Mehngai Mukt Bharat” agitation across the country, at the advice of Congress president Smt. Sonia Gandhi and Shri Rahul Gandhi, Ch. Anil Kumar said that life has become impossible for the common people, as prices of all essential goods have soared past the roof, due to regular hikes in the prices of petroleum products.
Ch. Anil Kumar said that in the past one month, CNG prices have been hiked nine times for a cumulative total of Rs 12.10, and now a kg of CNG costs Rs 69.11. He said that with petrol costing Rs 105.41 per litre and diesel Rs 96.97 per litre, the transportation of all goods have gone substantially, creating a cascading impact in the prices of all essential goods.
Ch. Anil Kumar said that the Modi Government fooled the people by making unrealistic promises before the Assembly elections to five States, and as soon as the elections were over, the petroleum prices started soaring, which continues unabated despite protest by MPs in Parliament and people across the country, and in Delhi. He said that Modi told lies to people to loot them and the poor people are unable to get out of this fleecing by Modi and Arvind.
Ch. Anil Kumar said that Delhi Chief Minister also told lies and made hollow promises, as he has been misusing the thousands of crores collected from Delhi in VAT and liquor policy, for his election campaigns in other States, while Delhiites struggle to make ends meet. He said that the young people are without jobs, and many have also lost their livelihood due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but Chief Minister Arvind was unmoved, as he has been busy expanding his political network.
AICC In-charge of Delhi Shri Shakti Sinh Gohil said that despite people observing Navratra and Ramzan fasts, Congress workers and public at large turned up for the Congress protest at the exhortation of Smt. Sonia Gandhi and Shri Rahul Gandhi as people were fed up with price rise, and are unable to manage household expenses. He said that the Congress party will not stop its protest till the prices of petroleum products are rolled back, as despite stability of crude oil prices in the international market, prices of petrol and diesel have been soaring in India. He said that when Congress was in power at the Centre, a litre of petrol cost Rs 70 and a litre of diesel Rs 59 while a cooking gas cylinder cost only Rs 410, which has now risen to over Rs 950 per cylinder, without any checks and balances.
Besides Ch. Anil Kumar, prominent others who participated in the “Mehngai Mukth Bharat” agitation at Jantar Mantar, were AICC in-charge of Delhi Shri Shakti Sinh Gohil, ex-MP Shri D.P.Rai, All India Mahila Congress president Smt. Netta D’Souza, ex-Union Ministers Shri Jagdish Tytler, Smt. Krishna Tirath, ex-MP Shri Udit Raj, ex-Delhi Ministers Dr Narendra Nath and Prof. Kiran Walia, Chairman of the Communications Department and ex-MLA Shri Anil Bhardwaj, AICC secretary Rohit Choudhary, all district and block Congress committee presidents, ex-MLAs Kun. Karan Singh, Hari Shankar Gupta, Ch. Mateen Ahmed, Alka Lamba, Vijay Singh Lochav, Veer Singh Dhingan, Amrish Gautam, Malaram Gangwal, Rajesh Jain, Delhi Youth Congress president Ranvijay Singh, Delhi Pradesh Mahila Congress president Amrita Dhawan, DPCC vice-president Ali Mehndi, Jagjivan Sharma, Sandeep Goswami, Chairman of the Legal and Communications Department Advocate Sunil Kumar, Vice-chairmen of the Communications Department Shri Parvez Ahmed and Shri Anuj Athrey, Dr Naresh Kumar and Rajesh Garg.