Kolkata: Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today rode pillion on an electric scooter on her way to the state Secretariat 'Nabanna' in protest against the rise in fuel prices.
The Trinamool Congress supremo was driven by party minister and city Mayor Firhad Hakim.Ms Banerjee usually takes a car to 'Nabanna', situated in neighbouring Howrah district, a distance of about 8.6 km from her home in Kalighat in south Kolkata.
'The Trinamool Congress will continue protesting this (fuel price rise) vehemently. Charity begins at home. That's why I took this journey. I am speaking from outside the Secretariat gate because I am making a political statement,' the chief minister told waiting for reporters.
'The way petrol, diesel and gas prices have increased is appalling. Gas cylinders now cost Rs 800 per unit. Kerosene oil is unavailable,' she added.Observing that this was "looting" the common man, Ms Banerjee asked, 'What were the prices when the Modi government came to power? What are the prices now?'
She said earlier diesel prices were low because farmers used it to run tractors. Now farmers also do not care.Ms Banerjee also hit out at the BJP-led Union government for changing the name of the Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad and naming it after Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 'Who knows someday they may change the name of the country as well,' she remarked.
In poll-bound Bengal, where her party has made the rise in fuel prices an election issue, the government slashed by a rupee the state's sales tax on diesel and petrol from midnight of February 22. Finance Minister Amit Mitra had said the move will provide some respite to people stung by burgeoning prices of fuel.(UNI)