BJP on Friday announced that it would hold protest demonstrations at its district headquarters across the country tomorrow and Sunday against the hike in prices of petrol, diesel and kerosene.
"BJP will hold protest demonstrations on June 26-27 across the country at its district headquarters against the Congress-led government's move to increase the burden on the common man by increasing prices of petrol, diesel and kerosene," BJP General Secretary Dharmendra Pradhan said. BJP President Nitin Gadkari has asked his party office-bearers to launch the protest demonstrations against the anti-people policies of the government.
Earlier, the main opposition slammed the UPA government for the hike in prices of petrol and diesel, saying this would only increase the burden of the common man already bearing the brunt of high food inflation.
"BJP condemns UPA's efforts to burden aam admi with yet another dose of petrol and diesel price hike. The food inflation is hovering in the region of 17-20 per cent and people are feeling the real pinch of overall price rise," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said. Government increased the price of petrol by Rs 3.5 per litre, of diesel by Rs 2, kerosene by Rs 3 and LPG by Rs 35 per cylinder.
"Instead of providing relief to the common man, the government is bent upon taking the petroleum prices to new heights which clearly is an anti-people policy," Javadekar said. He said this hike would have a cascading effect on prices of essential commodities. BJP claimed that the government's argument of increase in prices of petrol and diesel being due to hike in international prices was "bogus".
"With the present global prices, petrol and diesel would be available at Rs 25 per litre, if there are no taxes. Petrol and diesel are charged with 100 per cent taxes in India," he said. Javadekar claimed that India was one of the high taxation regimes when it comes to diesel and petrol prices.
"BJP demands that consumer should not be asked to pay more either for subsidising the inefficiencies of the oil PSUs or jacking up profits of the private oil companies. We demand withdrawal of taxation hike and the proposed hike," Javadekar said.
The main opposition suggested that if the government wanted to reform the administrative price regime, it should improve the efficiency of the three oil Public Sector Units.
"There are no benchmarks for efficiency, there is no oversight. There is no competition as there is an entry ban on the private sector," Javadekar alleged. He said the government should actually be thinking of issuing kerosene coupons to the poor instead of increasing its price.
BJP plans to submit a memorandum of 100 million signatures to the President of India against price rise during the forthcoming monsoon session of Parliament.
Party vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said frequent increase in prices of petrol, diesel and essential commodities was a "big scam" and demanded a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the matter. "This is a very serious and big scam. Prices are being increased regularly. We demand a JPC probe into it to find out who all are involved in this scam," Naqvi said.
The newly elected Rajya Sabha MP maintained that there was a bumper crop this year and still there was an increase in prices of foodgrains. "The government is looting the aam admi," Naqvi alleged. He rubbished government claims that prices of petrol and diesel had to be increased due to hike in international prices.
Naqvi said BJP would raise this issue in a big way in the forthcoming monsoon session of Parliament. PTI