Bahujan Samaj Party President Mayawati on Tuesday hit out at the Centre about the skyrocketing fuel prices in the country, saying that it was wrong to put financial strain on people already suffering because of the coronavirus crisis and unemployment.
“It is wrong and inappropriate to trouble people, who are already suffering because of the coronavirus pandemic, unemployment and inflation, with the continuous and unnecessary hike in the prices of essential commodities like petrol, diesel and cooking gas,” she said in a tweet. “The government’s logic to raise funds for public welfare by the fatal increase in taxes [on fuel] is not appropriate.”
Mayawati added that it was essential to immediately stop the huge financial burden being put on people with the imposition of heavy taxes on fuel. “In fact, the government will be doing a huge favour to crores of poor, hardworking and middle people in the country,” she added.
The BSP leader had last week also criticised the government for burdening the people with hefty fuel prices. She demanded that the Centre take cognisance of the difficulties being faced by the people and find an adequate solution for them.
Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav also took to Twitter to criticise the BJP government on the rising fuel prices. “Income is decreasing, there is cut in salaries, What will one eat and save?” Yadav wrote in Hindi, as he shared a cartoon depicting the woes of Indians.
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Petrol and diesel prices across the country soared over the past few weeks. On Tuesday, petrol prices in Kolkata, Hyderabad, Patna, Bengaluru and Chennai crossed the Rs 90 per litre-mark. In some some cities in Rajasthan, the price has gone over Rs 100.
Opposition parties have blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government for the exorbitant fuel prices, accusing it of raising taxes to scoop out the benefit reaped from international oil rates plunging to a two-decade low in April and May. While global rates have rebounded with a pick up in demand, the government has not restored the taxes, which are at a record high.
Last week, Congress President Sonia Gandhi wrote a letter to the prime minister about high fuel prices. She accused the government of profiting off people’s suffering. Gandhi also criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party for blaming its failures on previous governments.
The prime minister had claimed that if the previous governments had focussed on reducing the country’s energy import dependence, the middle class would not have been this burdened today.