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Congress to launch nationwide agitation against fuel price hike, inflation

New Delhi: To take on the BJP-led central government on the issues of inflation and fuel price hike, Congress on Saturday decided to launch a nationwide programme 'Mehngai Mukt Bharat Abhiyan'. Congress general secretary Randeep Surjewala said that Congress president Sonia Gandhi, in consultation with general secretaries and in-charges has decided to champion people's voice in a three-phased programme 'Mehngai Mukt Bharat Abhiyan' against price rise under which it will organise rallies and marches across the country from March 31 to April 7. Speaking to media persons, Surjewala said, "People of India have been betrayed, duped and deceived by the Modi government. After keeping the prices of petrol, diesel, LPG cylinder, PNG and CNG unchanged for 137 days to secure the votes of people, last one week has been a nightmare for every household. Every day there had been an increase in prices of Petrol and Diesel as an also cumbersome increase in the prices of LPG, PNG and CNG. This has proved the dictum for Modi Government- 'Fleece the People, Fill Coffers'" Surjewala further said that the decision was taken at a meeting between Congress general secretaries and state in-charges at the party headquarter presided by KC Venugopal. "On March 31, Congressmen and people will protest outside their homes and public places with garlanded Gas Cylinders and beat of drums-bells-other instruments to draw the attention of the deaf BJP government against the insurmountable increase in the prices of petrol, diesel and gas. There will be district level Mehngai Mukt Bharat Dharna and march between April 2-4. On April 7, there will be state-level dharna at state headquarters," he added. With the hike of 80 paise in prices of petrol and diesel on Saturday, the rates have been increased by Rs 3.20 per litre in five days. After the latest price revision, petrol in Delhi will be sold at Rs 98.61 per litre and diesel at Rs 89.87 per litre. The petrol will cost Rs 113.35 after an increase of by 84 paise and after the hike by 85 paise, diesel will be sold at Rs 97.55 in the financial capital of Mumbai. In Mumbai, the prices are the highest among all the metros cities. After November last year, on March 22, the fuel prices were hiked for the first time. Since then, the prices are continuously increasing. On November 2 last year, the petrol price was hiked by Rs 35 per litre paise and on November 1, the diesel price was raised by 35 paise per litre. On November 3 last year, the Centre had cut excise duty by Rs 5 per litre on petrol and Rs 10 per litre on diesel to bring down the retail prices across the country. Following this, several state governments reduced Value-Added Tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel to provide relief to people.

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