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HindustanTimes Tue,23 Sep 2014

Hours before polls, LPG price hike fuels BJP's campaign

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Shimla, November 01, 2012
First Published: 23:44 IST(1/11/2012) | Last Updated: 23:45 IST(1/11/2012)

With less than 72 hours to go before the elections in Himachal Pradesh, Thursday's hike in the price of cooking gas has given a shot in the arm to the ruling BJP's campaign.

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After the first six subsidised LPG cylinders, the consumers will now have to pay R922 per cylinder - a hike of Rs. 26.50.

"The Congress-led UPA government has given a karva chauth gift to people by raising the price of non-subsidised cylinders," said chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal.

"The BJP has tried to provide relief to the common man by promising free induction cookers to each household."

The decision to raise LPG prices comes days after Congress chief Sonia Gandhi expressed concern over inflation at her rallies in Shimla and Kangra.

But Gandhi had held the state government equally responsible.

Like other states, Himachal Pradesh should also reduce the Value Added Tax on LPG, she had said.

Throughout the day, the BJP leaders kept up their attack on the Congress.

"If the party can take such drastic steps days before the assembly elections, one can imagine what it would do later," said BJP state vice-president Praveen Sharma.

On its part, the Congress said if it comes to power in the state, it would provide subsidies on nine LPG cylinders instead of the current six.

"The people understand the need for the price rise. But the hike in LPG prices will not affect the state, since we will provide subsidy on three more cylinders," said a Congress spokesperson.


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