Over 100 Congress leaders, workers detained in Gujarat for protests on fuel prices

AHMEDABAD: More than 100 Congress workers, MLAs and leaders were detained in different parts of Gujarat on Friday for staging without police permission protests against the central government over the rise in fuel prices, an official said.

Leaders and workers of the Gujarat Congress staged demonstrations in Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Rajkot, Bharuch, Palanpur and Vadodara as part of a nationwide call given by the party high command to protest against the high petrol and diesel prices.

While the party’s state president Amit Chavda led the agitation in Gandhinagar, former state unit chief Bharatsinh Solanki took part in the party’s protest in Vadodara, where workers pulled a car using ropes.

In Ahmedabad, senior MLA and deputy Leader of Opposition Shailesh Parmar led the agitation.

According to the police, more than 100 Congress workers in different cities have been detained for staging protests without permission.

Chavda and 40 other agitators were detained from their protest venue near Satyagrah Chhavni ground in Gandhinagar, deputy superintendent of police, Gandhinagar, M K Rana said.

“We have detained around 40 Congress workers, including Amit Chavda and Gandhinagar legislator C J Chavda, for organising the programme without police permission and that too amid the coronavirus pandemic,” Rana said, adding that a decision to release the workers will be taken soon by senior officials.

In Vadodara, the police detained Solanki and 20 other Congress workers for a brief period, and similar detentions took place in other parts of the state, an official said, adding that 20 workers were detained in Rajkot city.

Talking to reporters before his detention, MLA Parmar said that petrol and diesel prices had been increasing constantly after the BJP came to power at the Centre in 2014.

“On the one hand, the fuel prices are increasing, on the other hand, people are losing jobs and there is high inflation.

The BJP government isn’t doing anything to give respite to people.

We want the government to either reduce the excise duty on fuel or bring it under the GST, so that the prices come down,” Parmar said.