Thursday, June 13, 2024

‘ ‘Petrol price hike shows govt insensitivity to public burden’


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NEW DELHI: BJP on Friday alleged the price hike demonstrated that the government was “completely insensitive” to the suffering of people and asked the UPA allies to withdraw support as they were becoming a party to the “sins” of the Manmohan Singh dispensation. The party also appealed to the people to “revolt” against the petrol price hike by not paying taxes. In a press conference, former Finance Minister and BJP leader Yashwant Sinha described yesterday’s petrol price hike by Rs 1.80 per litre and the rise in food inflation to 12.21 per cent as ‘Terrible Thursday’. “The weekly food inflation figures were released yesterday. And then as if the government was waiting for this cue, it increased petrol prices from midnight….I want to say that this was a midnight massacre,” Sinha said. BJP charged that the government has become “completely insensitive” to the suffering of the people and demanded a “full justification” from it on this measure. “This and the previous hike are totally unjustified. Non-recovery of dues by the oil companies cannot be called loss. All oil companies are making profits,” Sinha said. The main opposition held UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Singh responsible for the hike, saying such a step was not possible without their consent. “The time has come when the people will overthrow this corrupt and arrogant government… I am asking the people of India to revolt against it and show it the door,” he said. BJP also asked the UPA allies not to merely criticise the government but to withdraw support. “BJP is not going to accept proforma protest from the UPA allies. You either say you are with the government and be ready to share the blame or withdraw support. Supporting this government is becoming party to its sins,” Sinha said.Sinha attacked the Prime Minister for being insensitive and far removed from the ground reality. “I am not asking for Manmohan Singh’s resignation as after reaching this stage of zero-sensitivity, there is no point,” he said. Sinha also sought to know when was the last time Singh had visited a village and interacted with the poor. Taking pot-shots at Singh, he said it was easy to run a government sitting here in the capital. BJP lamented that the government has reneged on its promise in Parliament on controlling prices. “The Lok Sabha had passed a resolution moved by the Opposition calling upon the government to take effective steps to check price rise. It was voted and passed by the opposition and even the UPA allies,” Sinha said. The party charged that the government had reduced Parliament to a “talking shop” and hence there was no point in passing any more resolutions. However, BJP would still raise the price rise issue strongly in the upcoming session. BJP was also not convinced with the government argument that petrol prices have been decontrolled, he said. “Why was a GoM formed when the government has no role?” Sinha asked. He further insisted that it was wrong to link the frequent hikes to devaluation of the Rupee versus the Dollar. “The price of Rupee versus the Dollar will keep going up and down as it is traded everyday. When Dollar falls will you give relief?” Sinha said. Sharing details of prices in neighbouring countries, Sinha said petrol in India was costlier than in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and even the US. He sought to know why petrol price is not decreased in India when the international crude prices fall and alleged that the UPA-II government had increased prices on 24 occasions since coming to power in 2009. (PTI)


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