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Kerala police detains BJP workers protesting against state budget in Kochi

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Kochi (Kerala) | February 9, 2023 4:03:57 PM IST
The Kerala Police detained Bharatiya Janata Party workers who were protesting against state budget in Kochi on Thursday.

The BJP workers staged protest against the Left government's refusal to roll back the tax proposals and social security cess on fuel and liquor, announced in the budget.

Police used water cannons to disperse the workers and detained several of them.

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

BJP state president K Surendran on Sunday had said the party would start an agitation against the anti-people budget and the government's wrong policies from Monday.

Earlier, in the day, the opposition Congress-led UDF MLAs on Thursday staged protests against the state budget. The MLA constituted a march against the State budget from MLA Hostel to the state Legislative Assembly to attend the budget session in Kerala Assembly in Thiruvananthapuram.

During the protest, the opposition leaders said that they would continue the protest till the government will not changed its decision. To mark the protest opposition MLAs walked to the assembly.

The youth wing of the Congress party also protested against the Kerala budget today in Kochi and clashed with the police personnel who used water cannons to disperse the protestors.

The raging Congress workers also burnt the tyre in front of barricades placed to stop the protestors.

The police lathi-charged and used water cannons against the protestors which led to a scuffle between both groups.

Leader of Opposition VD Satheesan also hit out at the Pinarayi Vijayan-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) government for not revoking the additional cess imposed on the prices of petrol and diesel in the "worst budget" he has ever seen in the Assembly.

The Congress leader said, "For the last few days we are agitating inside and outside of the Assembly. Not only the opposition, but the general public also believes that the government will be forced to withdraw some of the taxes. Unfortunately, the government is not ready to pull down the taxes."

He claimed that all these taxes are unscientific, and this will create more price hikes and derailment of the Kerala economy.

"This is a similar situation to the recession. At this time through the budget proposal, the government has to stimulate the economy but unfortunately it defunct the economic activities in Kerala. This over-taxation will create chaos in the economy of Kerala," he said, adding that this will affect the future of Kerala.

Satheeshan further added, "We will continue the agitation. On the coming February 13 and 14, the Union Democratic Front (UDF) declared a day and night strike state-wide."

The Kerala government is facing a heavy backlash from the general public after they presented the budget for the financial year 2023-24 on Thursday. The government proposed to increase petrol and diesel prices by Rs two per litre in the State.

As per people, the increase in cess on petrol and diesel will lead to a huge price hike. The prices of daily necessities have more than doubled in Kerala.

Kerala Finance Minister KN Balagopal on February 2 presented the budget for the 2022-23 financial year in the legislative assembly. This Budget marks the third by Balagopal after he took over as the state's Finance Minister.

The Budget allocated Rs 2,000 crore to check inflation. Despite being a consumerist State, Kerala was able to control price hikes and the state witnessed the lowest price rise in the country, Balagopal said.

Petrol and diesel prices will be increased by Rs 2 per litre in Kerala, said the finance minister.The minister said that the Centre's assistance to the state has been reduced and a financial crunch is expected this year.

He further added though the state government is facing challenges due to the Central government's financial policies, Kerala is not in debt and the state has the financial position to take more loans. (ANI)

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