July 11, 2021

TELANGANA: Left Parties Protest Fuel Price Hike

Kambhampati Sarma

HUNDREDS of Left party workers took part in a dharna at Basheerbagh, Hyderabad, on June 19, protesting the steep rise in prices of petrol, diesel, gas and other essential goods. Amidst the rising Covid-19 cases in the state and the lockdown restrictions, the protestors came in hundreds indicating the mounting discontent against the government policy.

Slogans were raised slamming the Modi government for mounting burdens on the common man. Dharnas were also organised in all district headquarters. CPI(M) state secretary, T Veerabhadram addressing the dharna,  said that the country’s prestige is declining under Modi’s leadership. “Modi had promised to reduce the prices of petrol, diesel and gas if international prices were reduced, but has not done so. The GST on any commodity is never more than 28 per cent , but it is as high as 70 per cent on diesel and petrol and is imposed both by state and union governments.” he said.

He said that during the Modi rule, not just the corporates, but even the pharma  and IT owners grew wealthier by exploiting the poor. “The Modi government failed to control Covid by failing to supply medicines, vaccines, medical facilities and oxygen. During this period, millions of people lost their livelihood. The demand of Rs 7,500 and 10 kgs of food grains for the poor was ignored,” he said.

The state secretary demanded that Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao should come forward to resist the policies of Modi. “In the past, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government opposed the Congress government for selling government lands but it is doing the same now when it is in power,” he condemned.

CPI State secretary Chada Venkat Reddy criticised the Modi government for failing to even provide decent burials for those who died due to Covid-19 and reminded that a large number of dead bodies were seen floating in river Ganga. He also criticised the government for removing restrictions on reserving stocks of essential goods. He demanded that like the Kerala government, even the Telangana government should supply 16 essential items to each family on ration cards.

Following this, the Left parties held a protest on June 24 in Secunderabad, in front of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd, demanding the slashing of prices of petrol and diesel. Protest activities were held statewide at the Regional Oil offices and district collectorates demanding a cut in the petrol prices.

On June 30, a “Chalo Raj Bhavan '' programme was held at Indira Park which led to arrests of at least 200 leaders including women protestors, who were kept in seven police stations in Hyderabad. T Veerabhadram, Central Committee members G Nagaiah, S Veeraiah, Ch Sitaramulu, and a few district secretaries, CPI state secretary Chada Venkat Reddy, and other Left leaders and cadres were taken to different police stations in Hyderabad. In some districts, leaders were taken into custody the previous night. Protest dharnas were organised in the districts before collectorates and memorandums were submitted against the fuel price hike.