Opposition strengthens agitation against Kerala govt's budget proposal to impose cess on fuel

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Congress MLAs protesting outside the Assembly building | Photo: facebook.com/shafiparambilmla

Thiruvananthapuram: The Congress-led UDF in Kerala on Monday intensified its protest outside and inside the state Assembly against the Kerala government's budget proposals to impose cess on petrol and diesel prices.

Amplifying the agitation in opposition to the "anti-people" policy of the government, United Democratic Front (UDF) MLAs Shafi Parambil, Mathew Kuzhalnadan, Najeeb Kanthapuram and C R Mahesh staged a sit-in protest at the entrance of the state Assembly.

Outside the House, Youth Congress workers staged a march to the Assembly against the budgetary proposal to impose a cess of Rs 2 on petrol and diesel.

Addressing the sit-in protest at the Assembly complex, Leader of Opposition V D Satheesan said the budget presented by Finance Minister K N Balagopal was the worst in the history of Kerala.

"This budget has turned out to be another disaster that fell upon the people of Kerala, who were heavily hit by the pandemic and the natural calamities. This budget will affect the normal life of the people and damage the economy of the state," Satheesan said.

The Youth Congress march, taken out to the state Assembly, turned violent with the protesters setting ablaze a motorbike and the police using water cannons to disperse the agitators.

The march was blocked by the police some distance away from the Assembly complex.

The agitating Youth Congress workers attempted to cross the police barricades and a motorbike was dragged to the site and set afire.

The Yuva Morcha, the youth wing of the BJP, has announced that it will organise a march to the Assembly on Tuesday against the budget proposal to impose cess on fuel.

The ruling LDF had, however, justified its decision to impose the cess, saying such a measure was announced as the state was facing a huge financial crisis due to the policies of the BJP-led Union government.

Presenting the budget, the Finance Minister had said on Friday that it was proposed to levy a Social Security Cess on Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) and on the sale of petrol and diesel as the commitment to continue protecting the decent lives of vulnerable sections of society.

The budget has proposed a Social Security Cess on sale of petrol and diesel at the rate of Rs 2 per litre.


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