Bhaiyasaheb Jadhav is dressed up as Raavana. Each of his ten heads have a small note on them. “Each head represents a social ailment like poverty, corruption, price rise, etc. The BJP is eating from the public with ten mouths,” says the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) volunteer while holding his neon green mace and sword high up. Both the weapons are of plastic.
Hundreds of agitated NCP members and supporters took to the streets this evening to protest against the rise in fuel prices, Goods and Services Tax (GST), and demonetisation, among other issues.
The crowds gathered at Abhinav Chowk, Tilak Road for the ‘Jan Aakrosh Aandolan’ and walked all the way till Shaniwarwada on Friday. “Fadnavis! Fadnavis! Char sau bees! Char sau bees!” and “Modi Sarkar haye haye!” were among the slogans that protesters chanted. Onlookers laughed and school children stood confused as the protest passed by them.
“Nothing will come out of this,” states a dismissive Rajiv Rao, a bystander, while also mentioning that his small business was affected by GST.
Speaking to Pune365, Vandana Chavan, NCP MP, says that measures like demonetisation and implementation of GST are classic examples of government ignorance towards people.
“The government is unaware and doesn’t take into consideration of how such decisions will impact the populace. Even the UPA wanted to implement GST and unfortunately the NDA-led regime has implemented it in a bad way. Small businesses have been hugely affected.”
Further, she also spoke about senior BJP leader and former finance minister Yashwant Sinha’s recent editorial over India’s economy. “Since demonetisation itself, we have been seeing that a lot of MPs and office bearers said that this is the wrong decision. Many of them were scared to go back to their constituencies because they didn’t want to face the anger of the public. This was happening but it wasn’t out in the open. Mr Sinha is openly speaking about how the government needs to face the reality. Kudos to him!”
Addressing the crowds that gathered at Shaniwarwada, NCP leader Ajit Pawar questioned the promises made by the ruling BJP party. “Why isn’t the government telling us about how much black money and fake currency that’s come to them? The GDP is low and petrol and gas prices are up. GST has affected several small businesses.
Are these the ‘achche din’ they promised? If common people speak against the government, they are threatened. Who is responsible for the murder of journalists?
Who is responsible for the stampede and deaths at Elphinstone station?”
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