CPI-M, BJP protest petrol price hike in Srinagar (Lead)

May 31st, 2012 - 5:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Srinagar, May 31 (IANS) The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Thursday held separate protests in this Jammu and Kashmir summer capital against the hike in petrol prices.

While the CPI-M led a protest of hundreds in Pratap Park area, the BJP demonstration was at the city centre Lal Chowk.

CPI-M state general secretary Yusuf Tarigami led around 500 protesters carrying placards to Pratap Park area.

“We demand an immediate rollback. There is no justification for such a decision when the prices of petroleum are coming down internationally,” Tarigami said, adding that it was surprising that the petrol price hike was announced outside parliament when it was in session.

“Ours is a sustained effort. It is not a one-day protest, we will continue such protests till the government is forced to rollback the hike,” he said.

The BJP protest was led by Muhammad Ashraf Azad.

“The plight of the poor is our main concern. With the increase in prices of petrol and food, they are not able to afford even two square meals a day,” Azad told reporters as about 50 party workers gathered at Lal Chowk.

Although the protest was small and peaceful, its political import did not miss many.

“It was nice to see the BJP carry out an anti-price rise protest peacefully,” said a shopkeeper who did not want to be named.

Quite in contrast to the present, in 1991 BJP workers could reach Lal Chowk under the leadership of Murli Manohar Joshi to unfurl the national flag only after a curfew was imposed in the area.

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