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BJP threatens stir over kerosene

By Our Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI, JAN. 17 . Accusing the Sheila Dikshit Government of taking anti-poor decisions at the instance of some "influential contractors and middlemen'', the Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party president, Harsh Vardhan, today threatened to launch an agitation if the original quota of kerosene given to the poor ration cardholders was not restored at once.

"It is clear the move is aimed at benefiting blackmarketeers of kerosene oil who are people close to the Congress leaders and those in the Government,'' he added.

In a statement here, Dr. Vardhan said a kerosene scarcity was being deliberately created to help touts and middlemen make a fast buck at the expense of the common man. The decision of the Delhi Government had badly affected lakhs of people living in unauthorised colonies and slum clusters as their basic fuel of cooking and heating is kerosene oil, which they will now be forced to buy from the open market at Rs. 30 per litre.

The Delhi Government was also going back on the promise made by the party in the Common Minimum Programme of the United Progressive Alliance Government for strengthening of the Public Distribution System.

He also accused the Congress-led Central Government of being part of this decision that has had a cascading effect on the budgets of the poor and the lower middle class.

The BJP president said that ever since the decision had been implemented, there has been acute shortage of kerosene across the Capital. Long queues could be seen outside the kerosene depots but this had failed to move the Government.

In fact, Dr. Vardhan informed that people had been complaining to him that all their efforts to file a complaint against unscrupulous elements indulging in black-marketing of kerosene oil had fallen on deaf ears.

Even the Chief Minister and the Food and Supplies Minister, Raj Kumar Chuahan, had refused to listen to their grievances, he charged.

He said the party would wait for the Government to review the decision failing which an agitation would be launched to force the Government to take back this anti-people decision.

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