The Telegraph
Sunday , June 22 , 2014
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Parties slam hike in railway fares

Jamshedpur, June 21: BJP’s rivals, lying low in Jharkhand since their crushing defeat in the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls, got their first ammo in the form of a steep hike in railway fares to launch a scathing attack on the Narendra Modi government at the Centre.

JVM, JMM and Congress workers took to the streets across the steel city to protest against the 14.2 per cent increase in passenger fares across the board and 6.5 per cent rise in freight rates, a move that is being touted as the Union government’s first tough step to revive a sluggish economy.

JVM supporters brought out a huge rally from Aam Bagan. Nearly 200 party workers from across the city took part in the protest march that culminated at Sakchi roundabout. Flag-waving protesters shouted slogans against the Narendra Modi government and burnt an effigy of the Prime Minister.

“This is one of the steepest hikes in rail fares in recent years and will stoke the inflation. We want an immediate rollback,” declared JVM East Singhbhum district president Firoze Khan.

After the JVM, JMM’s youth wing members demonstrated at Sakchi and burnt an effigy of the Prime Minister to lodge their protest against the fare hike. Later, they staged an agitation at Sonari.

“The increased rail rates will break the backbone of the middle class and poor people. We have planned similar demonstrations in different blocks to expose the real face of the BJP, which never thinks about poor,” said JMM youth wing general secretary Mahabir Murmu.

Youth Congress members set on fire Modi’s effigy at Sakchi Shahid Chowk and staged demonstrations at Golmuri and Bistupur. “We will take out a torch rally on June 24 if the fare hike is not rolled back,” said Youth Congress leader Rakesh Sahu.

The Congress’s youth wing also took out a rally in Dhanbad to vent their ire against the tariff hike. Led by youth Congress leader Abhijeet Kumar, the agitators travelled through different parts of the town and assembled at Binod Behari Chowk near Dhanbad station and burnt an effigy.