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BJP holds state-wide protest in Karnataka over hike in petrol and diesel prices

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BENGALURU, June 20: Karnataka BJP on Thursday held “Cycle Jatha” here, as part of its state-wide protest against the Congress government’s decision to hike petrol and diesel prices.

BJP workers and leaders led by its state President B Y Vijayendra sought to mark their protest by riding bicycles from the party’s state office ‘Jagannath Bhavan’ to ‘Vidhana Soudha’.

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However, the police stopped the protesters mid-way, detained Vijayendra and others and whisked them away in a bus.

Former Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwathnarayan and MLC C T Ravi were among the leaders who participated in the protest shouting slogans against the state government, which last week hiked sales tax on fuel making petrol and diesel costlier by Rs 3 and Rs 3.5 per litre, respectively.

Speaking to reporters, Vijayendra said BJP is holding protests across the state in all the district and talk centres by blocking roads, against the government’s decision to increase the prices, and urged the Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to roll it back.

“In Bengaluru by organising Cycle Jatha, the party has tried to warn the state government, but this adamant government is not even thinking about rolling back price hike. The Chief Minister is citing higher prices in neighboring states, but our state is in distress, farmers are in distress due to drought, in such a situation the decision to put more burden on the common man is an unpardonable sin,” he said.

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“I urge the Chief Minister to rollback the hike immediately and no decision should be taken that causes burden to farmers and common man,” Vijayendra said, noting that Ministers have also said that bus fare will also be hiked, and water tariffs increased in Bengaluru in the future. “This government has become a curse to the people of the state.”

Reacting to Home Minister G Parameshwara’s reported indirect caution to the BJP that the police may resort to caning to disperse anyone who tries to cause inconvenience to the public in the name of protests, the state BJP chief called it “height of foolishness.”

“BJP and its workers will not fear for lathis and will raise their voice for the sake of people and farmers of the state. The Home Minister is speaking out of arrogance of power, we will not fear such things, our fight will continue until the government withdraws its decision,” he said.

Similar protests have been reported from Belagavi, Mysuru, Mandya, Shivamogga, Hubballi and Haveri among other places.

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Belagavi MP Jagadish Shettar and Haveri MP Basavaraj Bommai, both former Chief Ministers, too participated in protests in Belagavi and Davangere, respectively. (PTI)




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