BJP announces July 1 as ‘Inflation-Protest Day’

New Delhi, June 28 (IANS) Intensifying the agitation against price rise, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Monday hit out at Congress president Sonia Gandhi asking her to stop ‘expressing false sympathies for the common man’ and announced July 1 as all India ‘Inflation-Protest Day’.

The party also announced a march to Rashtrapati Bhavan during the start of the monsoon parliament session to submit a request letter to President Pratibha Patil with 100 million (10 crore) signatures against price-rise.

‘This first initiative of Sonia Gandhi as NAC (National Advisory Council) chairperson is wreaking havoc on the common man’s life. She should stop shedding crocodile tears and expressing false sympathies for the common man and BJP demands her to come out with an explanation,’ BJP general secretary Ananth Kumar told reporters here.

‘July 1 will be observed as Inflation-Protest Day. In all state capitals and cities we will hold big rallies. UPA-II (United Progressive Alliance) has failed to curb inflation,’ he said.

The central government June 25 ended government curbs on petroleum pricing and hiked the prices of diesel, kerosene and cooking gas. The price of diesel went up by Rs.2 a litre, kerosene by Rs.3 a litre and cooking gas by Rs.35 per cylinder. Petrol will now be costlier by Rs 3.50 a litre.

The BJP expectedly demanded a rollback of fuel prices and observed an India-wide three-day protest.

Kumar said that more efforts are being taken by BJP to get the government to bring down this ‘unreasonable’ price rise.

‘We have already collected five crore signatures, our target is 10 crore. We will march to Rashtrapati Bhawan at the start of the monsoon parliament session and present our request with all these signatures to the president,’ Kumar said.

Also criticising the government for releasing a large advertisement two days after announcing the fuel price hike titled, ‘A small price to pay today… For a better tomorrow’, Kumar said: ‘Is the UPA planning to fight elections and be in power in Pakistan, Bangladesh or Nepal? Do they know about currency conversion if they are comparing prices?

‘Do they think that people of India are fools? Not only are they denying the poor of their rights but also justifying the price hike,’ he said.

On Sunday a large half-page advertisement in some national papers by the ministry of petroleum and natural gas had compared fuel prices to that in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.

‘The Congress party and UPA government is playing with the emotions of the common man and farmers,’ he added.

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