Workers of the city Congress have started a five-day chain hunger strike against the state government opposite the office of Bathinda municipal corporation, opposing the imposition of property tax.
Congress general secretary and former minister Harmander Jassi also sat on the dharna along with his supporters, but the opposite camp stayed away.
"Property tax is not acceptable to us and we are ready to take this fight against the government to the streets. The government has failed to generate revenue for the state due to its policy failures and now it wants to make people pay. Deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal has found an easy way to collect revenue by people making pay tax for living in their houses," said Jassi.
"It is shameful act that authorities have been disconnecting sewerage and water connection of people, who have failed to pay the heavy bills. Congress had provided people with relief, but the SAD has been making people suffer. We will not allow authorities to pursue this agenda and we will stand by every citizen who does not want to pay property tax," said Ashok Kumar, district (urban) Congress President.
"We are going to strengthen our movement. People are approaching us and the issue is of public interest.
Every day, 51 Congress workers will sit on a dharna from 10 am to 5 pm and it will continue till December 27," said press secretary Rupinder Bindra.
Complicated form increases problems
Filling the form to deposit property tax has emerged as a headache for the poor and the uneducated and unemployed youth are cashing in. Most such helpers are charging Rs 50-100 for filling up a form. Most refused to say anything on record, but the charges are on the higher side as some people have only Rs 150 to pay as property tax.
"There are long queues and officials are not ready to accept any mistake in the form. So, I preferred to pay the amount and be done away with it," said Dalbir Kaur, who had to pay Rs 150 as property tax, but also ended up paying Rs 70 extra for filling up the form.