Assam: AASU protest against fuel price hike


GUWAHATI, May 24, 2018: A protest was staged statewide by All Assam Students' Union (AASU) on Wednesday against the steep hike in fuel prices.

Protesters burnt effigies of Union petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan and AASU activists shouted slogans against the BJP-led Union and state governments for not being able to rein in fuel prices despite the party's promise before the 2014 Lok Sabha election and 2016 Assembly election of containing the prices of fuel and essential commodities. They said the BJP had milked the issue, among others, to unseat the Congress government.

The AASU's Guwahati unit, as elsewhere in the state, asked the Centre to cut down prices and raised slogans such as "Axom sarkar hai hai". Protesters in Diphu, headquarters of Karbi Anglong district, Duliajan, a town in Dibrugarh district, Jorhat, Bongaigaon, Tezpur, headquarters of Sonitpur district, and Guwahati asked why the Centre and state government were silent on the all-time-high prices.

The Assam PCC had staged a protest on Tuesday, asking Dispur to reduce tax on fuel to contain the rise in prices of petrol and diesel. It said the price of petrol had risen from Rs 76.73 per litre to Rs 79.03 per litre in the city in the past 10 days while the price of diesel has shot up from Rs 68.83 to Rs 71.07.

On Wednesday, the prices of petrol and diesel touched 79.34 a litre and 71.34 a litre respectively.

The impact of the hike was also subtly conveyed by Prasanta Phukan, a legislator of the ruling BJP, on Tuesday as he demanded a hike in travel allowance from Rs 8 a km to Rs 15 a km.

AASU assistant secretary Duldul Borkakoti said this is the first time that fuel prices have risen daily in the past 10 days.

AASU's Dibrugarh district committee president Likhon Baruah said after Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power at the Centre, fuel prices have been rising, leading to a rise in the prices of other essential commodities.

In Diphu, a member of Karbi Students' Association (KSA) mocked the BJP slogan of parivartan (change). "They promised parivartan but the change is only for the welfare of capitalists. MPs and MLAs are busy increasing their salaries and perks, leaving the aam aadmi to fend for himself," he said. All Bodo Students' Union (Absu) members echoed similar views in Baksa in lower Assam.

Leaders of Axom Navanirman Sena, a social organisation, told reporters here that petrol prices had risen by 34 paise and diesel prices by 28 paise per litre in a day on Tuesday. Since May 13, petrol prices have risen by Rs 1.64 and diesel prices by Rs 1.70 in the state.

They urged the government to take steps to cut down the price hike as the people were facing a hard time.

Assam PCC president Ripun Bora told the media that the government had promised achhe din by taking measures to control prices but had failed to do so.

Source: The Telegraph

Featured image: The Telegraph