Lashing out at the ruling SAD for its "shameless defence" of the hike in diesel prices in Punjab, Congress deputy leader in the Lok Sabha Capt Amarinder Singh on Sunday said it was ironic as how Akalis could claim that the hike would benefit the farmers when actually they would be hit the worst.
In a statement, the former Punjab chief minister said the diesel prices should actually have been reduced by the NDA government as the crude oil prices in the international market had come down. "While the NDA is shying away from slashing the prices at the Centre, Akalis have slapped a hike instead in Punjab," he pointed out.
The Amristar MP said the farmers in Punjab should have got some relief as due to poor monsoon and unavailability of electricity, they had to use generators for their tube-wells to irrigate their fields.
"After the hike, the input costs will increase further, which means additional burden; however, the Akalis are shamelessly trying to make us believe that it will benefit the farmers," he observed.
Amarinder said the hike in VAT (value-added tax) on diesel would lead to hike in transportation cost, which in turn further burdened the common man.
"Given an extensive fleet of buses that the Badals are operating, they must be having a better idea as what the hike meant to the common man and ordinary commuters," he said while asking for immediate reversal of the hike.
Amarinder expressed surprise as to why the central government was not passing on the benefit of the reduction in crude oil prices in the international market to the consumers in the country.
"When you pass on the burden of hike to the consumers, you must pass on the benefit of reduced prices to them as well," he added.