BJD takes out bullock cart rally to protest fuel price hike

Ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) took out a bullock cart rally here today, to protest against the rising petrol and diesel prices, in a novel way.

The party accused the BJP led NDA government of betraying the people by not fulfilling the promises it had made before the Lok Sabha elections in 2014.

During the agitation, led by former minister Sanjay Dasburma, some members of the youth and student wings of the ruling party rode bullock carts along the busy Lower PMG Square to protest against the fuel price hike.

They held placards and also shouted slogans against Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who hails from the state.

The protesters also staged a demonstration and accused that the Union minister has failed to check the price hike of petrol and diesel, and demanded his resignation.

"The NDA government has increased price of petrol and diesel nine times since it came to power in 2014. This has hit the common people across the country," Dasburma said.

He said the BJD would intensify its agitation if the Union government does not take any measure to check the price hike soon.

The BJD leaders alleged that fuel prices in India are among the highest in South Asia despite the fact that the countrys neighbouring nations depend on the same sources for crude oil.

Meanwhile, the BJP termed BJD's demonstration as a political gimmick and alleged that the party is trying to divert the attention of people from its failure in dealing with the real issues.

BJP leader Prithiwraj Harichandan said several states such as Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Himachal Pradesh have reduced value added tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel, while the Odisha government has rejected the Centres request to reduce VAT.

"If the BJD is so much concerned about people of Odisha then it must reduce VAT by at least five per cent to ease the burden on consumers," Harichandan said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)