Congress turns heat on BJP over petrol and diesel prices, demands tax cuts
The Congress in Karnataka on Monday protested against rise in prices of petrol and diesel by riding bicycles as the party continued to criticise the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the Centre and in the state for piling on the burden on common people.
“The prices have increased drastically after Narendra Modi became Prime Minister. Both Central and state BJP governments are looting common man. Diesel price was just ₹47 and Petrol was just ₹75 when crude oil price had crossed more than $120 during Shri Manmohan Singh tenure,” Siddaramaiah, the leader of the opposition and former chief minister, said .
The protest is part of the Congress’s ongoing campaign to pressure the Basavaraj Bommai-led Karnataka government to reduce the taxes on fuels and other essential commodities that have added to the burden of the state’s population who are severely impacted due to the Covid-19 pandemic-induced lockdowns.
Siddaramaiah said that even BS Yediyurappa cannot save the BJP in the upcoming 2023 assembly elections.
The Congress is trying to tear into the BJP which appears to be on the back foot with its internal political rumblings over issues like the caste census, reservation row, mishandling of Covid and its unwillingness to reduce the duty on fuel and other essential commodities.
“People are frustrated with the steep increase in petrol and other essential commodity prices, and waiting for this government to end the term. People fear about cases being slapped on them if they voice their frustration against the government. People will teach BJP a great lesson in the upcoming elections and will send their leaders back to home,” the former chief minister said.
The Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) or JD(S), the two main opposition parties in the state, are trying to push the Bommai government to a corner in the ongoing monsoon session of the Karnataka legislature.
Siddaramaiah has been a vocal critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the “Modi wave” that has helped the BJP win elections in Karnataka and other parts of the country.
“Narendra Modi government has increased excise duty of diesel from ₹3.45 to ₹31.84 and excise duty of petrol is increased from ₹9.21 to ₹32.98. Let him reduce excise duty by 50%. Narendra Modi government has collected about ₹23 lakh crore as excise duty in last 7 years,” Siddaramaiah said.
The Congress has travelled to the opening day of the monsoon session on bullock carts to mark their protests on September 13.
DK Shivakumar, the president of the Karnataka Congress, said that the increase of prices of energy and other essential commodities was the doing of the BJP which was “pickpocketing” the state’s population.