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Protests in India over rising food and fuel bills, as unemployment soars

A rally was held to protest rising unemployment in India and the rise in fuel and food prices.

Rahul Gandhi, a key opposition Congress party leader, rallied support for the demonstrators. He has accused Prime Minster Narendra Modi of prioritising policies that benefit large business groups over those that are less profitable.

According to Mr Gandhi, the prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas have risen between 45%-175% since Modi assumed control in 2014.

Rajiv, the politician’s father, was a former prime Minister of India . He addressed crowds at Ramlila Maidan rally, which is used traditionally to hold religious events and festivals in capital New Delhi on Sunday.

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His 21.4 million Twitter followers heard him say: “Congress party unite the country. Only Congress can lead the country to the path of success.

“We will tell the truth straight to the people, whatever is in our hearts, they will understand.”

He tweeted earlier: “Today people must think ten times before they buy what they need.”

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These problems can only be solved by the Prime Minister.

“We will continue adding voices against inflation, and the king must listen.”

The Congress party had tweeted ahead of protest that Ramlila maidan was “ready”, and added that the country is “united versus inflation and against inflation.”

Delhi Police stated that party workers who were protesting elsewhere were taken in buses and dropped off at the protest site.

They added that no one was held hostage.

Image Opposition Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addresses crowds Pic: AP
Image Many people attended the rally at New Delhi Pic: Twitter/ INC India

The government has responded by claiming that it provided millions of housing, water, and free health insurance.

MRS. Gandhi also blamed the prime minister for creating “an environment of fear and hate” between Muslims, Hindus and Muslims.

Modi is long accused of pushing a Hindu nationalist agenda. This has led to tensions boiling across the country.

Police were forced to enforce a curfew and ban gatherings more than four people in Gujarat, Mr Modi’s home state, in April after violence broke out between Hindus and Muslims at a religious festival.

One person was killed and 10 others were injured in a Hindu procession that was attacked with stones in the western Indian region. This happened a day before.

Gujarat was ravaged by violence in 2002 when Modi was chief minister and a rising star of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Image Indian Prime minister Narendra Modi at the celebrations of Independence Day on 15 August Pic by Reuters

The month-long clashes claimed the lives of around 2,000 people, most of them Muslims.

A Muslim mother was gang-raped during rioting by a Hindu mob, which also killed her daughter, aged three years, and 13 family members.

Bilkis Bano was 19 years old when he appealed to officials for a rescinding of the decision to release 11 men in 2008 for their horrific crimes. It was announced that they would be released in August.

Protests erupted in New Delhi after the announcement.

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