Congress workers to travel ticketless to protest rail fare hike
Mumbai/Lucknow: Congress workers will travel without ticket in the suburban trains on Monday to protest the hike in fare.
"On Monday I will travel ticketless from Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) to Thane (station) along with our party workers as part of our protest," Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee president Manikrao Thakre told reporters on Saturday.
"The Modi government has shown its true colours by increasing the train fares," he said.
On reports that Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan is being replaced and the Congress observers visiting the city on Monday, Thakre said, "I have no such information. I have not been informed about any such thing. I don't have any information about Chief Minister being changed".
Meanwhile, women activists of NCP, the alliance partner of Congress, also held a protest at CST to protest the fare hike.
NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said that party workers will protest the hike by travelling without tickets on suburban trains if fares are not reduced.
Meanwhile, violent clash broke out between ruling Samjwadi Party and BJP workers in front of the Vidhan Bhawan here with both the groups indulging in heavy brick batting over hike in rail fares announced by the Centre.
SP workers staged a demonstration in front of Vidhan Bhawan, located opposite BJP office, this evening, torched an effigy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and shouted slogans.
While BJP workers alleged that SP workers tore down posters and banners, and pelted bricks on the party office, the latter charged that members of the saffron party launched an attack on them and indulged in brick batting.
The minor scuffle turned into a violent clash with both the sides indulging in heavy stone pelting that continued for almost half-an-hour damaging several vehicles.
"Though 3 or 4 policemen were injured in the clash, we have no report of injuries from either side as of now," Station House Officer Hazratganj said.
Meanwhile, BJP workers led by state president Laxmi Kant Bajpai staged a dharna in front of SSP Praveen Kumar's residence, demanding swift action against the attackers.
In one of the biggest hikes, railways yesterday raised passenger fares by 14.2 per cent for all classes and increased freight rates by 6.5 per cent to garner Rs 8000 crore annually.