Andhra Pradesh’s opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) on Tuesday staged protests at petrol bunks across the state, demanding the YSRCP government cut Value Added Tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel.
Leaders and cadres of the TDP took part in the protest in response to the call given by the party’s national President and former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu.
The TDP activists held banners and placards and raised slogans, criticising the Jaganmohan Reddy government for not reducing VAT on petrol and diesel. They said since many states have reduced VAT, providing relief to common man, Andhra Pradesh should also follow them.
The TDP leaders alleged that the Chief Minister was not doing anything to provide relief to the common public from rising prices of essential commodities. The protesters sounded the horns of their bikes to register their protest.
The TDP leaders demanded that Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy take steps to reduce VAT on fuel without trying to mislead people. They said people knew how the state government was collecting Rs 5 to Rs 7 per litre in excess on fuel when compared to other states.
The Telugu Desam leaders held protests at Dharna Chowk, Bhavanipuram, Benz Circle, and other places in Vijayawada city. Former minister Kollu Ravindra, party state General Secretary Panchumarty Anuradha, former mayor Gadde Anuradha and others took part. They asserted that their party would continue its agitation till the government would give up its adamant attitude on fuel prices.
At some places, police resorted to preventive arrests of TDP leaders and disallowed them from taking part in protests. Several leaders were taken into custody in Kadapa district during the day.
At some places, TDP leaders staged novel protest by garlanding and breaking coconuts in front of petrol and diesel pumps. They sought blessings of the gods for bestowing good sense on the Chief Minister to reduce fuel prices so as to reduce the financial burden on the common public.
In Tirupati, former MLA Sugunamma led the TDP protest at the local petrol bunks.
The main opposition party held hour-long protests in Gannavaram, Eluru, Gudivada, Rajahmundry, Tenali, Ponnur, Guntur, and other places. MLA Gorantla Butchayya Chowdary, former MLAs Alapati Raja, Dhulipalla Narendra and other leaders took part in protests in their respective places.
They demanded the YSRCP government to explain why it was not willing to reduce VAT even when the Central government has cut the excise duty on fuel.