Protests across Maharashtra against petrol price hike
Mumbai, May 24 : People across Maharashtra Thursday protested against the sharp hike in petrol prices, burning effigies and blocking roads and highways in prominent cities of the state, including Mumbai and Nagpur. Congress ally NCP also demanded a roll-back.
Protesters termed the hike as uncalled for and said that it would cripple all sectors in the state.
Tyres and effigies were burnt on state roads and highways in Mumbai, Aurangabad, Ahmednagar, Satara and Sangli, among others, as citizens took to streets and blocked roads to register their protest.
State-owned oil companies Wednesday announced a hefty hike of Rs.6.28 per litre, exclusive of taxes, in prices of petrol, effective from midnight.
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) that has its alliance with the ruling Congress party also demanded a roll-back of the price hike.
"This hike in petrol prices is very steep. It has to be rolled back," said NCP's Maharashtra unit president Madhukar Pichhad.
In Solapur town of western Maharashtra, slogan-shouting citizens jammed the streets and blocked vehicular traffic by sitting down on roads.
Nagpur, too, witnessed blocked roads across the city as protestors flashed posters and shouted slogans against the hike.
Mumbai's mayor Sunil Prabhu also demanded a roll back and said that he will travel by local trains to register his protest.
Sangli, Satara and Kolhapur in western Maharashtra also observed a shut down called by Shiv Sena to protest rising prices. The shutdown was successful as most businesses, schools and colleges remained closed.
Earlier, Guru S. Nair, vice chairman of the cultural cell of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) also wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressing shock that the government has decided to increase the price of petrol.
"I am a common man and my entire family is depending on my earnings. Our ministers have huge amount of salary and other government benefits. Therefore, MLAs or MPs or ministers would not be made to suffer like a common man due to increase in price of petrol. The prices of day-to-day commodities used by the common man are already high," he wrote.