Congress workers hold protest outside Chhattisgarh Assembly
“The yatra was organised to ‘highlight’ the government’s failure to keep promises that the BJP had made to farmers and the common man before elections,” Chhattisgarh Congress Chief Bhupesh Baghel said.
More than 800 Congress workers were detained on Monday after they tried to gherao the Chhattisgarh Assembly in support of their demands, including Rs 2,100 support price for paddy procurement and a CBI probe into the alleged civil supply scam.
Chhattisgarh Congress Chief Bhupesh Baghel, Leader of Opposition in the state assembly T S Singhdeo and several Congress legislators along with around 1,000 party activists were on their way to the Assembly when they were stopped by the police.
“Totally, 833 Congress workers and leaders, including party MLAs have been taken into custody and later released unconditionally,” Raipur Superintendent of Police O P Pal said.
Some Congress workers sustained minor injuries after the police used mild force to prevent them from proceeding towards the Assembly. However, despite the tight police arrangements, some Congress women workers managed to reach the Assembly gate wearing black sarees, but the police took them into custody.
Meanwhile, the Congress dubbed the police action on party workers as ‘unjustified’. Later, they called a state-wide bandh on March 18 to protest against the government. “The state government used police force to suppress the voice of the common people. Why do they avoid discussion on the issue in the Assembly? They are insensitive towards the welfare of the common people,” Bhupesh Baghel said.
“We have given a statewide bandh call on Wednesday to protest against the police action on our workers and in support our demands. However, school and health services will be kept out of the purview of the bandh,” he added.
The Congress had planned to gherao the Assembly on Monday as part of the culmination of its Kisan Mazdoor Nyay Yatra, which was initiated from Baloda Bazar on March 11. The yatra was organised to ‘highlight’ the government’s failure to keep promises that the BJP had made to farmers and the common man before elections, Baghel said.
Accusing the ruling BJP of being involved in corruption, Baghel said the recent scam in the civil supplies department had exposed the BJP’s false claims of providing a clean administration. He said only a CBI inquiry could reveal the truth and expose real culprits behind the scam.
Instead of paying higher minimum support prices and creating more jobs under MNREGA, the government had altered its procurement policy and closed down works under MNREGA causing immense hardship to farmers and labourers, he alleged.
Source:: Indian Express