Petrol politics heats up as BJP targets Oppn parties

Petrol politics heats up: BJP questions Opposition-ruled states for not cutting excise on fuel prices

The BJP said the Opposition attacks the Centre over high fuel prices but doesn’t follow suit when the Centre slashes the excise duty

Credit: Reuters Photo

Days after slashing value added tax (VAT) in states where it holds power, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) slammed the Opposition parties for not announcing cuts in fuel prices.

It said the Opposition attacks the Centre over high prices of diesel and petrol but doesn’t follow suit when the Union government slashes the excise duty. 

BJP-ruled states, in line with the Centre, cut petrol and diesel prices by up to Rs 13.43 and Rs 19.61 per litre, respectively, ahead of Diwali. Earlier, the Congress had said the Modi government's excise duty cuts on fuel prices were meagre.

“In Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has lowered the prices of petrol and diesel by Rs 12, similarly in Gujarat and Assam prices have been reduced by Rs 7. This is in addition to the cuts that were announced by the Union government,” BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia said.

Also Read | Past hikes in excise, VAT were Modi, Khattar government’s Jizyah tax: Surjewala

"If the Centre and BJP-ruled states can give relief to people, then why not the Congress-ruled states," Bhatia asked, alleging they were "cruel and incompetent".

The BJP and the Congress also demanded that the Kejriwal government immediately reduce the Value Added Tax on petrol and diesel to give relief to people.

Congress general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala responded to the attack and said the “rapid and repeated backbreaking increase” in the excise duty and VAT on petrol and diesel in past is “Jizyah tax” by the Narendra Modi and M L Khattar governments at the Centre and in Haryana. 

“In the first nine months of the year 2021 alone, petrol price was increased by Rs 28 per litre and diesel price by Rs 26 per litre. Reduction in the price of petrol and diesel by Rs 5 and Rs 10 per litre respectively is being tom-tommed as a Diwali gift. This is a clear deception,” Surjewala said.

“During the previous Congress government up till October 2014, VAT on diesel in Haryana was 8.8 per cent,” he added.

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