New Delhi: On the eve of a nationwide Bandh to protest rising fuel prices and falling value of rupee, the Congress Party has asked its workers to refrain from violent protests and maintain peace.
“I appeal all Congress workers to make the bandh violence-free. We are Mahatma Gandhi’s party and we should not associate ourselves with any violence,” Congress spokesperson Ajay Maken told the media.
The party claimed that 21 opposition parties are supporting the Bharat bandh besides a number of chambers of commerce and traders’ associations. One of the chief demands of the Congress party was that petrol and diesel be brought under GST, by which oil prices could drop by about Rs 15 to Rs 18. According to the price notification issued by state fuel retailers, petrol price was raised by 12 paise a litre and diesel by 10 paise per litre on Sunday. Mr Maken held the BJP government responsible for the rise in petrol and diesel prices and alleged that it kept on raising excise duty on fuel even as international crude oil prices have come down. “Between 2014 and now, excise duty on petrol has risen by 211.7 per cent and 433 per cent on diesel. The excise duty on petrol was Rs 9.2 per litre in 2014 and it has gone up to Rs 19.48 per litre. Similarly, the excise duty on diesel was Rs 3.46 per litre and today it stands at Rs 15.33 per litre”. The Congress spokesperson further alleged that the government has collected Rs 11 crore as excise duty by rising prices.
“I am pained that the BJP national executive meeting did not discuss a solution to these issues,” he said. The economic progress and GDP growth rate has been whittled away by the present dispensation.
“During our rule, Narendra Modi criticised the rising oil prices saying it has gone into ICU. What would they say now?” he asked.