Randeep Singh Surjewala | Photo: PTI
New Delhi: The Congress on Saturday announced a three-phased campaign, "Mehngai-mukt Bharat Abhiyaan", against price rise under which it will organise rallies and marches across the country from March 31 to April 7.
Congress general secretary and chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told a press conference here that in the first phase of the campaign, Congress workers and common people will protest outside their houses and at public places on March 31.
He said people will garland LPG cylinders, beat drums and ring bells to highlight the issue of inflation and seek to draw the attention of the "deaf BJP government against the insurmountable increase in the prices of cooking gas, petrol and diesel.
"The Congress president, in consultation with the party general secretaries and state in-charges, has decided to champion the people's cause in a three-phased programme -- Mehngai-Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan," Surjewala said.
From April 2 to April 4, the Congress, along with NGOs, religious, social organisations and resident welfare bodies, will organise dharnas and marches at the district level across the country, he added.
On April 7, the party will organise "Mehngai-mukt Bharat" dharnas and marches at all state headquarters with the help of social and religious organisations, NGOs and people, Surjewala said.
"The people of India have been betrayed, duped and deceived by the (Narendra) Modi government. After keeping the prices of petrol, diesel, gas cylinders, piped natural gas (PNG) and CNG unchanged for 137 days to secure the votes of people, the last one week has been a nightmare for every household," he added.
Surjewala pointed out that the Centre again hiked the petrol and diesel prices by 80 paise per litre on Saturday -- the fourth hike in five days -- totalling Rs 3.2 per litre.
"The everyday increase in the prices of petrol and diesel as also the cumbersome increase in the prices of gas cylinders, PNG and CNG have proved the dictum for the Modi government -- 'fleece the people, fill coffers'," he alleged.
The decision to launch the agitation was taken at a meeting of Congress general secretaries and state in-charges here on Saturday. The meeting also discussed the membership drive of the party and the current political situation in the country.
Congress general secretary (organisation) K C Venugopal chaired the meeting at the party headquarters here.
Among the prominent leaders of the party who attended the meeting were Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Oomen Chandy, Mukul Wasnik, Tariq Anwar, Surjewala, Ajay Maken and treasurer Pawan Kumar Bansal.
The meeting comes in the wake of the party's humiliating defeat in the recent Assembly polls in five states. PTI