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Trinamool makes oil price an election issue; truckers, bus owners threaten to go on strike

Trinamool youth wing organised a demonstration where Abhisek Banerjee asked participants to walk back home after the rally. His sudden announcement surprised many senior Trinamool leaders.

kolkata Updated: May 30, 2018 13:13 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Petrol,Diesel,West Bengal
Trinamool Youth Congress workers protesting against oil price hike in Kolkata on Tuesday. (Samir Jana/ HT Photo)

At a time when opposition parties are looking for unique methods of protest against rising price of diesel and petrol, Trinamool Congress on Tuesday linked the issue to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Seen by many as Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee’s successor, Abhisek Banerjee, her nephew and chief of the party’s youth front, took a vow to rattle the Narendra Modi government before the price of oil touches Rs 100 a litre. Banerjee however did not clarify whether he was referring to the price of petrol or diesel.

“The movement to unseat the Modi government will start in Bengal,” he said at a rally in Kolkata on Tuesday.

Read: Farmers in Ludhiana take to 1,000-tractor rally to protest against hike in diesel prices

The Trinamool youth wing organised a five-hour sit-in demonstration where Banerjee asked the participants to walk back home after the rally as a mark of protest against the price hike. His sudden announcement surprised many senior Trinamool leaders who attended the rally.

Banerjee alleged that BJP has silenced other political parties by using agencies such as Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED). “No arm-twisting will work on Trinamool,” he said.

“We give no importance to CBI and ED. Before oil price touches Rs 100, we will have to drive out the Modi government and that movement will start from Bengal,” he said.

In Kolkata, prices of petrol and diesel stood at Rs 81.06 and Rs 71.86 respectively on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the price of petrol came down by one paisa only.

Read: After 16 days of hike, petrol and diesel prices witness slight drop

Addressing the rally, Trinamool secretary general Partha Chatterjee said the oil price hike will soon have a cascading effect on price of food and essential items across the country.

West Bengal Truck Operators’ Welfare Association, the biggest association of truckers in the state, has threatened to go on an indefinite strike from June 18. “The Centre should reduce the price of diesel or else 37,000 trucks will go off the roads,” said the association president Subhash Chandra Bose.

West Bengal Petroleum Dealers Association also announced a 24-hour strike on June 18. “Neither the Centre nor the state is taking any step,” said association president Tushar Kanti Sen.

Joint Council of Bus Syndicates has also planned a strike.

First Published: May 30, 2018 13:13 IST