BJD launches agitation over price rise of essential commodities

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By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: The ruling BJD on Sunday staged a dharna in front of the Raj Bhawan here against the Centre’s failure to check rise in prices of petrol, diesel, cooking gas and other essential commodities even as the Opposition parties described it as a tactic to divert the attention of people from the Mamita Meher murder case.  

The agitators also took out a rally from the party headquarters to Raj Bhawan led by BJD MLA for Bhubaneswar (North) Susanta Kumar Rout. Addressing the workers, deputy chairperson of State Planning Board Sanjay Das Burma hit out at the Centre for its faulty management of the economy which has resulted in price rise of essential commodities affecting people from all sections across the country. Party vice-president Debi Prasad Mishra warned if the Centre did not take corrective steps to bring down the prices, the BJD will be forced to organise protest meetings at every village and even take the issue to New Delhi.

In the second phase of the agitation, BJD workers in all the 147 assembly constituencies of the State will organise protests and submit memoranda to the district Collectors/block development officers addressed to the President of India. The youth and student wings of the party will also organise protest meetings in subsequent phases. While the price of petrol in Bhubaneswar was `110.67 per litre on the day, the price of diesel has gone up to `107.32.

However, the Opposition BJP and Congress described the protest meeting as a tactic to divert attention of people from the Kalahandi lady teacher Mamita Meher murder case. BJP State general secretary Prithviraj Harichandan said the BJD’s objective of organising the protest was to divert people’s attention from the case. Congress MLA Suresh Kumar Routray alleged that the BJD is trying to cover up the case by such protests.