New Delhi: The Congress will launch a 15-day people’s awareness programme from November 14 during which its workers will fan out across the country, holding marches and group meetings, to highlight the issue of inflation and price rise.
Several leaders, including former president Rahul Gandhi and party general secretaries Randeep Surjewala and K C Venugopal, on Wednesday, spoke on the Jan Jagran Abhiyan and what it would entail.
“The public harassment campaign of the BJP government is carrying on, Now the Congress will run its Jan Jagaran Abhiyan. We will seek answers to this injustice,” Rahul Gandhi said on Twitter.
Addressing a press conference, Venugopal alleged that price rise was destroying livelihoods and adding to people’s woes. This was caused by “destruction of the economy, deepening recession, highest-ever unemployment rate, farm distress and escalating levels of poverty and hunger”, he said.
Attacking the government over the issue, his colleague Surjewala added that the Modi government had proved to be the most “expensive regime”.
Elaborating, Venugopal said the prices of mustard and other edible oils have doubled in the last one year. Seasonal vegetable prices have increased by 40-50 per cent in a month.
The cost of subsidised LPG cylinder has gone up by 50 per cent to Rs 900-1,000 in the last one year. Similarly, petrol and diesel prices have gone up by Rs 34.38 and 24.38 to Rs 103.97 and Rs 86.67 per litre respectively in the last 18 months, he said.
The back-breaking price rise and inflation, unprecedented levels of unemployment and loss of jobs had made lives unbearable for the common people, Venugopal told reporters.
He claimed that 14 crore jobs were lost during the Covid period alone. Crores of daily wagers, as well as salaried employees, faced up to 50 per cent salary cut, and the unemployment rate is at an all time high of 8-9 per cent, the Congress leader said.
During 10 years of its government, the Congress-UPA pulled 27 crore Indians out from the ‘Below the Poverty Line’ (BPL) while in the last two years, the Modi government has pushed 23 crore fellow Indians back below the poverty line (as per the latest report of Azim Premji University), he alleged.
According to Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, party workers during the Jan Jagran Abhiyan,will reach out to the maximum number of people across the country to strengthen their voices against the “unprecedented” price rise of CNG, cooking gas, diesel, petrol, cooking oil, pulses and other essential commodities.
The AICC will also launch a logo for the Jan Jagran Abhiyan and release a pamphlet with facts about price rise, its repercussions and a questionnaire pertaining to people’s prevailing predicament.
Congress leaders and workers will undertake ‘padyatras’ (marches) with night halts in villages, towns or cities in their mass contact areas, he said.
The ‘padyatras’, Singh said, will begin every morning with a ‘prabhat pheri’ (early morning rounds) followed by ‘shramdan’ (voluntary contribution towards community) and cleanliness drive. They will hold numerous small group meetings to communicate the nuances of inflation and its adverse effects on lives of the common people.
An AICC training camp is also being organised for state level trainers from November 12 to 15 at Sevagram and Wardha in Maharashtra with specific emphasis on issues pertaining to the Jan Jagran Abhiyan.
State level trainers will also conduct a training programme at Parliament, assembly and sector level, Singh said.
The AICC will issue a toll free number on which the participants of the ‘Jan Jagran Abhiyan’ and those supporting it can register themselves through a missed call.