Amid the ongoing protest against the state budget in Kerala, the Kerala Police has detained Bharatiya Janata Party workers protesting in Kochi. The protest was against the Left government’s refusal to roll back the tax proposals and social security cess on fuel and liquor, announced in the budget. Police used water cannons to disperse the workers and detained several of them.
Yuva Morcha, the youth wing of the BJP, has also announced that it will organise a march to the assembly today against the budget proposal to impose a cess on fuel.
Earlier, in the day, the opposition Congress-led UDF MLAs staged protest by constituting a march from MLA Hostel to the state Legislative Assembly. The youth wing of the Congress party has also joined the agitation and clashed with the police personnel. The raging Congress workers burned tyre in front of barricades. The police in reply lathi-charged and used water cannons against the protestors which led to a scuffle between both groups.
Leader of Opposition VD Satheesan also hit out at the Pinarayi Vijayan-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) government for not revoking the additional cess imposed on the prices of petrol and diesel in the “worst budget” he has ever seen in the Assembly. The congress leader stated that even the general public is of opinion that the government will be forced to withdraw some taxes. Satheeshan further added, “We will continue the agitation. On the coming February 13 and 14, the Union Democratic Front (UDF) declared a day and night strike state-wide.”
The Kerala government is facing a heavy backlash from the general public after they presented the budget for 2023-24. The government proposed to increase petrol and diesel prices by Rs two per liter in the State. Further the prices of daily necessities have more than doubled in Kerala which is severely affecting the general public.