Chandigarh, August 5
Congress’ Punjab and Haryana units staged protests here Friday as part of the party’s nationwide uproar against price hikes, unemployment and the GST hike on essential items.
The Punjab unit staged a protest led by head of state congress Amrinder Singh Raja Warring and opposition leader Partap Singh Bajwa. In Haryana, the protest was led by former Prime Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and President of the State Congress, Udai Bhan.
Several Congressional MLAs from the two states also took part in the protest.
The protesting leaders and party staff shouted slogans against the government saying that the police here would not allow them to march to the home of the governor of the two states, citing the prohibition under Article 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). ).
The police used water cannons to prevent the leaders and workers of the Punjab unit from marching to the Punjab Raj Bhavan.
They were later detained by the police for a short time.
When Haryana Congress leaders and workers attempted to march from the state congress office to besiege the state governor’s house, they were stopped by Chandigarh police who had erected barricades a short distance from the governor’s office. the opposition party.
Later, many leaders and party MLAs, including Hooda and several congressmen, were briefly detained here by the police after being removed from the protest site and put on a police van.
In a separate protest by the Punjab unit, the police had erected barricades near the Punjab Congress office here to prevent them from marching to the Raj Bhavan.
The leaders of the Punjab Congress said they wanted to submit a memorandum to the governor on the issues they were organizing the protest against.
Warring said the prices of gasoline, diesel, cooking gas and other essential goods have risen. “The value of the rupee against the dollar is falling. There are several burning issues affecting the general public, but the government is asleep,” Warring later told reporters here. Warring warned that if the price hike continues unchecked, it could lead to some sort of “civil war” at some point.
He said the concern is that the country could then face a “Sri Lanka-like situation”.
Similar protests were held by Congress in all district headquarters in the two states.
Earlier, Hooda said their protest was against the “burning problems” affecting the lives of ordinary people.
Hooda, leader of the opposition in Haryana’s assembly, said the prices of essential goods have risen many times while unemployment is rising.
He said Congress will continue to fight on issues of public interest, from parliament to the streets.
Many other leaders of the Haryana Congress lashed out at the BJP-led dispensation at the Center, claiming that instead of taking steps to lower prices and curb rising unemployment, they are busily targeting the opposition. to fall.
Haryana Congress MLA Aftab Ahmed accused the Center of abusing its investigative agencies to suppress the voice of political opponents so that they do not bring up the people’s problems.
“Also in Chandigarh you see that we are being stopped by the police who had put up multi-layer barricades even when we were holding a peaceful protest,” Ahmed said.
During a separate protest by the Punjab unit against reporters, senior leader Partap Singh Bajwa said the prices of all essential goods have risen negatively impacting the common population.
“Instead of taking steps to rein in price increases, the government is busily attacking opposition party leaders and suppressing their voices,” Bajwa said.
What action has the Center taken against fugitive business magnates who surrendered to loot and fled the country, Bajwa asked.