The Congress on Friday staged demonstrations in front of various petrol pumps across the State as part of the party’s call for nationwide protests against the ever-increasing prices of petrol, diesel and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders.
Leaders and supporters of the party holding placards and shouting slogans also squatted before the petrol pumps in Bhubaneswar and demanded immediate rollback of excise duty imposed on the fuel. The party alleged that the BJP-led NDA Government at the Centre has hit the household budget of the people hard by frequently increasing the fuel prices. Besides, the wrong economic policies and the pandemic have led to widespread unemployment. At this time, the increasing prices of fuel have burnt a hole in the pockets of the people. Notably, petrol and diesel prices were hiked again on Friday 31 paise per litre and 28 paise per litre, respectively.
Petrol is being sold at Rs 100 at many places across the country, including couple of places in Odisha.“The BJP had promised to provide petrol at Rs 35 in 2014 when it came power and parroted the slogan ‘Achhe Din Aageya’. Now, petrol is being sold at Rs 100. Is it Aachhe Din?” questioned Congress leader Sarat Pattanayak.
“During Congress rule, the price of Petrol was Rs 60-65 per litre. We want that now,” he demanded. “Narendra Modi should immediately decrease the fuel and LPG cylinder prices as people are suffering severe financial crisis due to unemployment and lockdown.
I also demand Naveenbabu should immediately withdraw Rs 20 VAT. The CM should not follow in the footsteps of Modi,” senior Congress leader and MLA Suresh Routray said. However, BJP State spokesperson Satyabrat Panda said, "The Congress should know that the State Governments are also imposing VAT on the fuel prices. Has the Congress Governments withdrawn the VAT on fuel in Punjab, Haryana and Maharashtra," he questioned.