"Activists of the Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist) staged demonstrations at Purulia and Murshidabad railway stations, stalling train services briefly."
Kolkata, June 25 - Protests erupted in West Bengal Wednesday as the hiked passenger fares and freight charges of the railways imposed by the Narendra Modi government came into effect during the day.
Members of the ruling Trinamool Congress' students wing distributed cups of tea, mocking at Modi's 'Chai Pe Charcha' campaign during the Lok Sabha elections, while the Congress and the Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist) activists took out rallies and staged demonstrations.
The Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government raised the railway passenger fares by 14.2 percent for all classes and freight charge by 6.5 percent.
However, facing flak from the opposition as well as NDA partners, the government Tuesday announced relief in monthly season tickets and second class suburban fares.
The revised fares in the unreserved segment would now come into force from June 28.
State Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad (TMCP) president Shanku Dev Panda handed out tea cups with a printed message to people in College Street area in protest the rail fare hike.
After the rail fare hike, they will raise kerosene prices too. They came to power by making people drink tea... we will also make them drink tea. Across all districts, all blocks, all the people in Bengal... we will also give them tea, Panda said.
West Bengal Congress unit president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, who led a rally in central Kolkata, termed the fare hike abnormal.
We are also protesting against the price rise of essential commodities, he added.
Activists of the Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist) staged demonstrations at Purulia and Murshidabad railway stations, stalling train services briefly.
The ruling Trinamool Congress has criticised the hike and called for week-long agitations across the state, while the Communist Party of India-Marxist accused the BJP-led central government of starting its journey by implementing anti-people policies.