BJP should be called ‘bhayankar janloot party’: Surjewala on rising fuel prices
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala on Friday continued to criticise the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led central government over the hike in fuel prices in the country. He accused that the government looted ₹21.50 lakh crore through taxes imposed on petrol and diesel prices since May 2014 and said that the BJP should now be called as ‘Bhayankar Janloot Party’.
“BJP’s new name should be- ‘BhayankarJanloot Party’. Congress demands that the Modi government should stop oil loot and give relief to the people of the country by cutting petrol and diesel prices,” Surjewala said while addressing a press briefing.
From May 1, 2019, the prices of petrol and diesel went up by ₹15.21 per litre and ₹15.33 per litre, respectively, Surjewala said adding that petrol price was increased by nearly 200 times or even more since this period.
“The crude oil prices on Friday stood at $63.65 per barrel and on the basis of this, petrol should be priced at ₹32.72 per litre and diesel should be at ₹33.46 per litre. Then why isn’t the Modi government selling the fuels at these prices?” Congress's press release showed. Expanding on this point, Surjewala pointed out during the briefing that the Centre had imposed 820% additional excise duty on diesel and 258% additional excise duty on petrol.
With regard to the domestic use of crude oil in India, Congress said the production level had been reduced by 53,66,000 metric tonne by the Centre and the budget for the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) had been reduced to ₹28,800 crores this year from ₹32,501 crores in 2020-21.
Petrol and diesel prices continued to rise for the 11th consecutive day. In Delhi, petrol crossed the ₹90 per litre-mark after an increase of 31 paise while diesel was being sold at ₹80.60 per litre, after an increase of 33 paise. In Mumbai, prices of petrol and diesel stood at ₹96.62 and ₹87.67, respectively. The price of additive-mixed petrol had crossed the ₹100 per litre mark in states such as Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan among others.
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Meanwhile, the Madhya Pradesh Congress on Friday gave a call for a half-day bandh in the state on Saturday against the rising fuel prices and urged people to cooperate and make the shutdown a success.
“People are in distress due to skyrocketing prices of diesel, petrol and cooking gas. The government is busy collecting revenue and it is least bothered about giving relief to the public,” state Congress chief Kamal Nath told reporters. Another party leader Bhupendra Gupta requested the closure of shops during the bandh and added that milk booths, medical stores and hospitals will remain open.