The Shiv Sena on Wednesday attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Central government over the rise in fuel prices, PTI reported. An editorial in the party’s mouthpiece Saamana asked if the fuel rates were being kept high, despite a slump in global crude oil prices, to pay for the loan taken for the bullet train project.

The Shiv Sena’s criticism comes days after it hinted at breaking the alliance with the BJP in Maharashtra. The party, which is part of the ruling National Democratic Alliance at the Centre, said that high fuel prices were the main reason behind farmer suicides in the country. “Those in the government are not ready to speak on inflation and do not want others to talk as well. The common man is bearing the brunt of fuel prices going through the roof,” the editorial read.

The editorial also compared the fuel prices during the NDA and the Congress-led United Provincial Alliance tenures. “During the UPA regime, crude oil prices were $130 a barrel, but petrol and diesel prices never went beyond Rs 70 and Rs 53. The prime minister wants to give us a bullet train, that is his dream. But today, people do not have enough money to fill two litres petrol in their scooters and cars.”

The Shiv Sena had earlier hit out at Union minister Alphons Kannanthanam’s remarks on the rising fuel price as an insult to the poor and the middle class. Kannanthanam had said, “Who buys petrol? Somebody who has a car or bike. Certainly he’s not starving.”