Rajasthan minister links 'The Kashmir Files' to fuel price hike to target BJP
The Congress leader's remarks linked the two controversies - the surge in fuel prices and the tax-free movie tickets for ‘The Kashmir Files’ - that have been used by the opposition in the last few days to hit out at the government.
In the midst of a constant surge in fuel prices, Rajasthan minister Pratap Singh Khachariyawas has slammed the BJP-led central government, suggesting the centre must "distribute petrol coupons" the same way "they distributed the movie tickets for ‘The Kashmir Files'". The Congress leader's remarks link the two controversies that have been used by the opposition in the last few days to hit out at the government.
“They (BJP) should distribute coupons for petrol, diesel just as their ministers distribute movie tickets for The Kashmir Files,” the Rajasthan Minister told news agency ANI. The movie - on the exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits about three decades ago - has earned endorsement of many leaders of the ruling party since its release.
Chief ministers from BJP-ruled states - Karnataka, Haryana, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh - have made the movie 'The Kashmir Files’ tax-free in their states.
But there has been criticism amid the developments. Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal targeted the BJP leaders on Thursday for promoting the film. "They (BJP) are demanding that the movie be declared tax-free in Delhi. Upload it on YouTube, the movie will become free and everyone will be able to watch it. Some people are earning crores in the name of Kashmiri Pandits and you (BJP) have been sticking posters of the film," he had said.
“After polls, BJP increased petrol and diesel prices. They're ‘Ravan Bhakts’ not 'Ram Bhakts' (sic),” he added. His deputy Manish Sisodia had earlier made similar remarks.
Petrol prices were hiked by 80 paise per litre on Tuesday for the seventh time in eight days, taking the total hike to ₹4.80, news agency PTI reported. With the fresh hike, petrol passed the ₹100-mark in Delhi. Prices were stable for over four and a half months, a period during which election campaigns and polling were held in five states - Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa, Manipur.
The government has been facing heat from opposition parties over the surge in fuel prices. Congress leaders have been accusing the BJP-led government of ‘tax-gouging’ and ‘profiteering’ over the fuel price surge. Meanwhile, the government continues to underline that the Ukraine war is one of the factors behind the spike.
Moody's Investors Services said last week that state-owned fuel retailers – Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) – together lost around ₹19,000 crore in revenue for keeping petrol and diesel prices on freeze during the election period.