Mamata rides electric scooter to protest fuel prices

KOLKATA: All India Trinamool Congress (AITC or TMC) supremo and Chief Minister of poll-bound West Bengal Mamata Banerjee on Thursday adopted a unique way to protest against the rising fuel prices across the country.

With placards protesting against the petrol price hike hanging around her neck and on the back Ms Banerjee rode a battery-powered electric scooter, sitting pillion with state minister Firhad Hakim, on her way to the state Secretariat ‘Nabanna’ on a 7-km-long journey from Hazra More.

Ms Banerjee usually takes a car to the Secretariat, situated in neighbouring Howrah district, from her home in Kalighat in South Kolkata which is a distance of about 8.6 km.

After the 45-minute ride when she reached the Secretariat, Ms Banerjee spoke to the media and slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government at the Centre, "We are protesting against the fuel price hike. You can see the difference in petrol prices when the Modi government came to power and now."

"The way petrol, diesel and gas prices have increased is appalling. Gas cylinders now cost Rs 800 per unit. Kerosene oil is unavailable," she said.

"It is a matter of concern. Central government will only reduce the prices for few days when the elections are round at the corner," Ms Banerjee added. Petrol was sold at Rs 91.20 per litre in Kolkata on Thursday.

The opposition parties including the Congress have termed the CM's e-scoter ride as a publicity stunt.  "The CM is resorting to novel theatrics ahead of the elections but the state government is not doing its bit to reduce fuel prices," BJP leader Jai Prakash Majumder said.

Left Front leader Sujan Chakraborty said she was used to such stunts of riding pillion on a motorcycles. "Banerjee had ridden pillion on Chhatradhar Mahato's motorcycle in the Jangalmahal region before coming to power in the state but later people of that region witnessed the TMC's intimidation and terror," he said.


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