BJP protests against fuel price hike in state | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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BJP protests against fuel price hike in state

By, Bengaluru
Jun 18, 2024 08:04 AM IST

Petrol prices have gone up by ₹3 per litre and diesel by ₹3.5 per litre following the Karnataka government’s decision to increase the sales tax on them on Saturday.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday staged a statewide protest on Monday opposing the hike in petrol and diesel prices by chief minister Siddaramaiah-led government.

Karnataka BJP president B Y Vijayendra with party supporters stage a protest against the state government for a price hike on petrol and diesel, in Bengaluru on Monday. (ANI)
Karnataka BJP president B Y Vijayendra with party supporters stage a protest against the state government for a price hike on petrol and diesel, in Bengaluru on Monday. (ANI)

Petrol prices have gone up by 3 per litre and diesel by 3.5 per litre following the Karnataka government’s decision to increase the sales tax on them on Saturday.

“The BJP will continue its fight till the government withdraws the hike in prices,” declared BJP state president BY Vijayendra to a crowd of supporters at Freedom Park in Bengaluru. The BJP legislators and Members of Parliament gathered to voice their discontent over the fuel price hike.

While criticising the Congress-led state government, he said the state’s financial woes are the result of mismanagement by the ruling party. He further said that Karnataka had enjoyed a revenue surplus during the BJP’s tenure.

“Due to the mismanagement by the present Congress government in Karnataka and severe corruption, we are facing problems. The financial situation is very bad in the state of Karnataka because of the mishandling of the situation by the Congress government and the CM himself,” he said.

Highlighting the adverse impacts of the fuel price hike, Vijayendra said that it would severely affect people in the state, particularly farmers and common people, as it would lead to increased costs for transportation and essential commodities. He urged Siddaramaiah to reverse the decision, describing the hike as “stupid and anti-people.”

The BJP leader said that the Congress’s frustration over its poor performance in the Lok Sabha elections and internal dissatisfaction among its MLAs regarding guarantee schemes were factors behind the fuel price hike.

He questioned if Siddaramaiah had lost the pro-people concern that he once displayed while in Opposition. The state BJP president also accused the chief minister of pushing the state towards bankruptcy and lacking funds for development projects.

Leader of Opposition R Ashok accused Siddaramaiah of double standards by playing an old video clip of him opposing fuel price hikes when he was in the Opposition. “Siddaramaiah had opposed the hike in prices of petroleum products when he was in the opposition. Now, he is defending it,” he said.

Former deputy chief minister CN Ashwath Narayan criticised the Congress government for continuously increasing prices of various services since last year, thereby burdening the populace. He urged the government to withdraw the latest increase in prices.

In response, Siddaramaiah defended the fuel price hike, calling it a necessary “course correction” to align with neighbouring regions and to compensate for reduced capital inflows from the Centre. The state government had increased the price of petrol and diesel by around 3 on Saturday.

“Don’t we need money for development? After GST (was introduced), we (state) have limited sources of income,” Siddaramaiah told reporters in Bengaluru.

He argued that the hike was essential for resource mobilisation and to ensure there were no financial shortfalls for salaries or guarantees. He criticised the BJP-led NDA government for its unfair distribution of central funds and GST devolution, challenging the BJP to protest against these issues.

In 2015, the crude oil price was US dollars 52 per barrel, which decreased further in the next year, he claimed. “During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tenure, crude oil prices reduced but petrol prices went up. So, against whom should the BJP leaders’ fight be?” Siddaramaiah sought to know.

“When Manmohan Singh was the Prime Minister, a refilled LPG cylinder was costing 410. It went up to over 1,000 during the NDA regime. Even after it was brought down, it is still 805.50,” he pointed out.

“Who increased the refill gas cylinder from 410 to 805.50 despite reduction in crude oil prices? If they have concerns for poor people, let them stage demonstrations against the Centre,” Siddaramaiah added.

Meanwhile, BJP leader and former MLC M B Bhanuprakash died of cardiac arrest in Shivamogga on Monday during a protest organised by his party against the hike in petrol and diesel prices in Karnataka.

Bhanuprakash (69), who had earlier served as the party’s state vice-president and district president, led the protest here and addressed the workers.”He collapsed after suffering cardiac arrest while getting into his car,” a police source said. “He was rushed to a nearby hospital, but could not be saved.”

With PTI inputs

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