BJD holds protest against fuel price hike in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Friday staged a two-hour protest against the hike in petrol and diesel prices across Odisha.

Biju Mahila Janata Dal, Biju Yuva Janata Dal and Biju Chhatra Janata Dal activists staged a demonstration in front of petrol pumps at various locations from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The protest will continue till Sunday.

Holding banners against the fuel price hike, the party activists shouted slogans against the Central government and distributed leaflets to fuel consumers at various petrol pumps in the state to create awareness.

“The Central government has failed to control the fuel price which has affected the common people across the country. We are creating awareness of fuel consumers regarding the price hike of petrol and diesel,” said senior BJD leader Arun Sahu.

The BJD members also raised the issue in the state Assembly on Friday.

However, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan slammed the agitation.

He said the BJD was suffering from mental bankruptcy as Odisha was now getting a revenue of over Rs 7,000 crore as against Rs 3,000 crore in 2014.

“It is Odisha which has benefited most following the price rise. While it was getting Rs 3000 crore revenue in 2014, the state is getting Rs 7000 crore now. We had slashed excise duty on the petroleum products and Odisha government should slash VAT (Value Added Tax) on these products,” said Pradhan.

He said the policies of the US and the petroleum producing countries’ refusal to increase their production are reasons for the price hike.