The Aam Aadmi Party on Wednesday held protests in various states against the rising fuel prices and demanded immediate rollback of the hike in the wake of the situation arising due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Prices of petrol and diesel were hiked for the 22nd time on Monday in just over three weeks.
The police arrested around 50 AAP volunteers in the national capital and cases were registered against them.
The AAP demanded immediate rollback of the increased fuel prices, asserting that the abrupt and continuous hike is economically affecting the people already reeling under the onslaught of coronavirus.
Senior AAP leaders, including Delhi minister Rajendra Pal Gautam, and workers gathered at the ITO headquarters of the party in Delhi and walked towards the BJP headquarters protesting against the increasing fuel prices.
Senior AAP leader Gopal Rai claimed that the BJP government is getting benefited by hiking price of the fuels.
"The BJP government should immediately rollback the increased price of the fuels. This continuous increase in fuel price is also hiking the price of essential commodities. The BJP government is getting benefited by this hiked price of the fuels but the people are suffering," tweeted Mr Rai.
"The price of the fuel in the international market has come down to around $40 a barrel but the Modi government has not brought down the price of fuel which could have been a big relief for the citizens and the industries who are suffering due to the COVID-19 pandemic," he said.
Delhi's Cabinet Minister and senior AAP leader Rajendra Pal Gautam, who was present at the protest site, said the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the country as thousands of people became unemployed and now the BJP government has ravaged their remaining savings by increasing the fuel prices.
He also said the hike in fuel prices will eventually increase the transportation cost of essential goods as well as the price of vegetables and other items, which in turn will affect the poor people.
"The condition of the economy is very poor in India and in such a situation, instead of giving relief to the poor people the BJP is continuously increasing the prices of petrol and diesel. This is a massive betrayal with the people of India. Instead of helping the people, the BJP is destroying their life and livelihood," he said.
"About 15 years ago, the price of crude oil in the international market was USD 135 per barrel and at that time in India petrol was easily available around Rs. 70. Today that price has decreased by about USD 100 per barrel. Yet instead of decreasing oil prices, why is the BJP increasing the price?" said Mr Gautam.
Around 50 AAP workers were arrested and taken to Rajendra Nagar police station for staging a protest, a senior police officer said.
They were formally arrested and an FIR was registered against them under section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code, he said.
All of them were released on bail later, the officer added.
Gopal Rai, who is also the AAP Delhi convenor, slammed the Delhi Police for arresting peaceful protesters of the party.
The Delhi BJP attacked the Aam Aadmi Party for carrying out a protest at a time when the city is battling the coronavirus threat.
BJP state president Adesh Gupta said the AAP volunteers violated the social distancing protocol during the protest, and it can weaken the fight of the Delhi people against coronavirus, according to a statement.
Mr Gupta said the AAP is only pretending to hold protests to mislead the Delhiites so that they cannot question the Kejriwal government.
The reason for the rising prices of petrol and diesel in Delhi is the Delhi government itself. Petrol and diesel prices in Delhi are high due to increase in VAT by the Delhi government, he said.