BJD adds fuel to price-rise fire
Bhubaneswar: The BJD on Friday launched its three-day state-wide protest against hike in fuel prices. The ruling party will stage demonstrations in front of petrol pumps in their respective areas for two hours from 10am to 12noon till Sunday.
Several party workers, including members of the youth and students' wing and Mahila Morcha, staged peaceful demonstrations at all petrol pumps here.
Holding banners against the fuel price hike, BJD activists shouted slogans against the BJP-led central government and distributed leaflets to the public. Mayor Ananta Narayan Jena, BJD legislators, including Brahmagiri MLA Sanjay Das Burma and Nayagarh MLA Arun Sahoo, took part in the protests.
Sahoo said: "The prices of fuel in the country have increased drastically over the past few months. Earlier, when the rate of oil per barrel was $135 in the global market, petrol prices in India was Rs 54 per litre. Now when the global rates have reduced to $78, why have the rates in India gone up to Rs 80."
BJD legislator Raseswari Panigrahi accused the BJP of utilising the price hike to fund its election expenses.
"The BJP came to power promising to slash fuel prices, but the reality is that the prices have become so steep that it has started affecting common people. The BJP has turned a blind eye to the general public," Panigrahi said.
While the price of one litre of petrol in the state capital stood at Rs 78.90 on Friday, the price of diesel was Rs 77.38. The fuel price in Koraput is the highest in the state in comparison to other districts of Odisha as the transportation cost of fuel is calculated based on its distance from Paradip. Sources said that the price of petrol has already crossed Rs 80 in Koraput.
All Odisha Petrol Pump Owners'Association secretary Sanjay Lath said that no incident of violence was reported from any filing stations in the state.
"The filling stations will function as usual on the next two days during the peaceful agitation," said Lath.
Biswaranjan Sahoo has been appointed as the new inspector in charge of Jatni police station after director general of police R.P. Sharma suspended former inspector in-charge Sanjeeb Mohanty over allegations of taking bribe.