**Bhubaneswar:** Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Niranjan Patnaik exhorted denizens of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack to abstain from the use of petroleum products and vehicles on Monday.
The OPCC president’s call will be facilitated by the Congress workers who will request people of the Twin City to avoid using vehicles from 6 am to 12 noon on June 4.
“This will be a peaceful agitation to register our protest against the exorbitant price hike of petrol and diesel. The protest will be completely voluntary and the public will be requested to join our strike to apprise the Central Government of the common man’s woes,” Patnaik said.
The Biju Janata Dal said that it has been raising the price rise issue over the past three months. BJD Spokesperson Sasmit Patra said, “The consumers in Odisha have been hit by the surge in fuel prices and we have voiced our concern at different forums. Being a political party if the Congress has planned the strike it is welcome.”
The BJP passed on the buck to the State Government for not budging on VAT on petrol and diesel, which is responsible for the price hike.
“Rather than taking on the Centre, the Congress leaders should demand a reduction in VAT. The situation has been aggravated by the international fuel prices and the Centre is mooting all possible steps to address the matter,” Odisha BJP leader Golak Mohapatra said.