A meeting of the general secretaries and secretaries of the All India Congress Committee (AICC), chaired by Congress President Sonia Gandhi, decided to step up the agitations against the Centre over price rises, particularly the increase in oil, fuel and LPG prices.

The three-phased programme titled ‘Mehngai Mukt Bharat Abhiyan’ (price rise-free India campaign) will be launched on March 31.

Congress General Secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala told reporters after the meeting that the party’s members will protest outside their homes and public places by garlanding LPG cylinders. They will beat drums, ring bells, and other instruments to draw the attention of the Centre against the “insurmountable increase in prices of gas-petrol-diesel,” Surjewala said.

Between April 2 and 4, there will be district-level campaigns and marches. On April 7, protests will be held at the State headquarters.

‘People of India betrayed’

“People of India have been betrayed, duped and deceived by the Narendra Modi government. People of India are feeling let down by a government that they voted to power both at the Centre as also in the four States,” Surjewala said.

He added, “After keeping the prices of petrol, diesel, gas, piped natural gas (PNG) and CNG unchanged for 137 days, after promising free cylinders, particularly to the people of Uttar Pradesh, last one week has been a nightmare and scare for the budget of every household.”

He claimed that the Modi government earned ₹26-lakh crore in eight years by increasing the excise duty on petrol and diesel alone.