By Our Staff Reporter
Dehradun, 5 Aug: Congress leaders in Dehradun today tried to gherao the Raj Bhawan to protest high inflation, unemployment and GST imposed on essential food items. The protest was led by Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) Chief Karan Mahra. The Congress leaders and workers also staged a protest against the Agnipath scheme. This protest was held at the call of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) and culminated with handing over of a memorandum addressed to the President through the Governor.
More than a hundred Congress activists gathered at the state party headquarters (Rajiv Bhawan) under a pre-determined plan from where they marched under the leadership of State President Karan Mahra towards the Raj Bhavan. The programme was coordinated by General Secretary, Organisation (PCC), Vijay Saraswat. After the gherao, Karan Mahra along with the other activists were arrested and taken to the Police Lines by the police.
In the memorandum submitted to the President, the Congress alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Government at the Centre has completed eight-years of its term. However, despite coming to power with a thumping majority, it is engaged in anti-people policies. It had increased the prices of petrol, diesel, LPG cylinders and food items during its tenure, making life difficult for the people. Currently, the inflation is at its peak and the life of the common person adversely affected. Due to the continuous increase in the prices of petroleum products, a manifold increase in the prices of commodities of daily consumption including food items has taken place. The price of an LPG cylinder has crossed Rs 1000. The policies of the government are not pro people but pro elite.
Addressing the party members, Mahra said that to add to the inflation, the government had imposed GST on hitherto GST free items of daily consumption such as flour, curd, etc., and this had doubly increased the burden on the people, who were already reeling under the price rise. Since coming to power at the Centre, the BJP government has only been nurturing some select corporate houses, he alleged. The government is not bothered at all about the people’s sufferings. The Congress leader also claimed that unemployment is at an all-time high at present. The unemployed youth were hopeful that this government would provide employment to them but, in reality, due to the policies of the Central Government, it is being snatched away. In the last tenure, the BJP-led government had shown the dream of providing employment to two crore people, every year, but according to the figures of the government, only 10 lakh people had got employment during its entire five-year tenure. Narendra Modi, who had promised a corruption free India, had actually fooled the people. His government had wrongly given thousands of crores of rupees as loans to his beloved industrial houses, Mahra alleged. Today, the unemployment rate in India had reached the highest 29 percent compared to the world, he claimed.
Targeting the State BJP Government, the Congress leaders claimed that the hope and confidence with which the people of Uttarakhand had given the gift of double engine to the BJP with a huge majority, was now completely shattered. The state government had also proved unsuccessful in stopping migration by providing employment to the youth. Thousands of industries in the state had either closed down or were on the verge of closure, rendering youth working in them unemployed. In addition there was corruption in the recruitment process as the UKSSSC scam had shown.
Speaking about the Agnipath Scheme, Mahra claimed that it is intended to play with the future of the youth and is highly impractical, controversial and hastily prepared. It carried many inherent risks related to national security. It also would destroy the long standing traditions of the armed forces.
Leader of the Opposition Yashpal Arya, former PCC Chief Pritam Singh, former PCC Chief Ganesh Godiyal, Deputy Leader of the Opposition Bhuwan Kapdi, MLAs Rajendra Bhandari, Adesh Chauhan, Vikram Singh Negi, Furkan Ahmed, Gopal Rana, Ravi Bahadur, Virendra Jati, former Ministers Navprabhat, Dinesh Agarwal, and former MLAs Manoj Rawat, Rajkumar, State Vice President Mathura Dutt Joshi, Vijay Saraswat, Treasurer Aryendra Sharma were among those present on this occasion.