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Congress announces 10-day nationwide protest against fuel price hike, unemployment

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New Delhi, June 24, 2021 (Agency) The Congress on Thursday said it will launch a nationwide protest campaign from July 7 to 17 to highlight the plight of the people and alleged government apathy towards the public.

A meeting was chaired by interim party chief Sonia Gandhi with General Secretaries and state in-charges.

K.C. Venugopal, General Secretary-Organisation, in a statement said, “Moved by the plight of people already suffering on account of the coronavirus pandemic, rampant unemployment and salary cuts, the Congress party has decided to launch nationwide agitation programmes at Block, District and state levels. These programmes shall be implemented by the state units between July 7 to 17.”

The Congress would launch countrywide agitation of women involving Mahila Congress, Youth Congress and other frontal units at block level and leaders and workers would take out Cycle Yatras at district level.

Leaders and workers will take out processions in state level with a signature campaign to be run at petrol pumps across the country demanding reduction of prices of petrol and diesel.

Venugopal said the party aims to build a mass movement, which would pressure the ruling BJP-led NDA government to roll back the excessive excise on fuel and gas and provide relief to suffering consumers in the time of the pandemic, economic slowdown and unprecedented unemployment.

The meeting emphasized time bound implementation of the outreach programme, which aims to cover about 3 crore households in 30 days, touching nearly 12 crore people (at an average of 4 members per family), covering 7199 blocks in 7,935 towns in 736 districts of the country. The total expected feet on ground would be 1,51,340 Congress workers at the peak of the campaign.

The AICC meet also discussed the urgent issues of runaway high inflation, price rise, skyrocketing cost of pulses, edible oil and other household products as also everyday unprecedented rise in petrol and diesel prices. Since May 2, the Modi government has hiked fuel prices on 29 occasions. In more than 150 cities, the price of petrol has crossed Rs 100 per litre.

The Congress alleged that the Modi government charges Rs 32.90 per litre as excise on petrol and Rs 31.80 per litre on diesel and that the central government has earned Rs 22 lakh crore in the last seven years by imposing excise on petrol and diesel.

It said the prices of edible oils have nearly doubled over last six months. Prices of pulses have seen an unprecedented rise as every household item has seen a quantum jump in prices, it claimed.

The increase in the wholesale price index in May 2021 has been 12.94 per cent which is the highest in the last 11 years, the party claimed.

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