The Congress on Sunday criticised the Narendra Modi-led government over increasing fuel prices, saying that the Bharatiya Janata Party was back to swindling people. Congress national spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, in a series of tweets, condemned the ruling party over media freedom and farmers’ issues in Kerala.

“BJP back to fleece people! Rising Petrol-Diesel prices in past 8 days burdening middle class and farmers!” the Congress spokesperson said. Surjewala said that petrol prices in Delhi on June 22 were Rs 69.93 per litre and went up to Rs 70.40 per litre on June 30 – an increase of Rs 0.47 per litre. Speaking about diesel prices, he said that on June 22, the price was Rs 63.78 per litre, which rose to Rs 64.22 per litre on June 30, a hike of Rs 0.44 per litre.

In another tweet, Surjewala condemned the central government over press freedom, saying that the government has indulged in “sheer vindictiveness” by freezing advertisements to four newspapers.

The Congress leader was referring to recent reports that Narendra Modi’s administration has stopped providing advertisements to three major newspaper groups – the Times Group, the Ananda Bazar Patrika Group, which publishes The Telegraph, and The Hindu newspaper. Surjewala said that the Assam Tribune was another publication in which advertisements have been frozen by the government.

He also noted that, after the floods in Kerala last year, farmers’ distress has escalated as the state and central government “apathy continues unabated”. He added that the state’s tea production was down by 12 lakh tonnes, while rubber production was down by 15,000 tonnes, adding that Kerala’s pepper, banana and nutmeg crops are also suffering.