New Delhi: When he attacked Congress for high prices during UPA's two terms in power in retaliation for opposition's criticism of soaring fuel prices currently, BJP's J Mishra perhaps had not imagined any backlash. The backlash came and came swift.
The BJP leader on Tuesday was quoted by news agency ANI as saying that Congress has no right to protest against the high prices of fuel currently because while mobile data was expensive during their term, it is almost free now. He also compared prices of petrol under Atal Bihar Vajpayee's government to when Manmohan Singh left office, apart from prices of ghee. "Congress talks about fuel price to criticise the government. Don't they remember their past? Petrol was Rs 29 per litre in 2004 and Rs74 per litre in 2014, Ghee Rs 130/kg in 20004 and Rs 380/kg in 2014, data charges Rs 300 for 1 GB, 100 GB at Rs300 now, call rates Rs 8/min and free with data pack today," he said.
Congress talks about fuel price to criticise govt. Don't they remember their past? Petrol was Rs29/l in '04&Rs74/l in '14, Ghee Rs130/kg in '04&Rs380/kg in '14, data charges Rs300 for 1 GB,100 GB at Rs300 now, call rates Rs 8/min & free with data pack today: J Mishra, BJP (23.05) pic.twitter.com/BqSSuvSoko
— ANI (@ANI) May 24, 2018
Netizens tore into Mishra for his 'outlandish' remark - some even fearing if he would be made the finance minister of the country in the future.
Hope this guy doesn't become next finance minister of India.
— Jerin saviour (@Jerinsaviour) May 24, 2018
Hey bhagwan Data se Gaadi chalegi
— S a n j e e v ???????? (@sanjeevjena1) May 24, 2018
jio valon ke haath me hi desh de do..kya pata,internet ke jaise hi petrol bhi sasta kar de aur 399 me 70 din ke liye daily 1 lt petrol beche hume..
— ek aalu bonda retweeted (@ek_aalu_bonda) May 24, 2018
We can't ride car with internet petrol is one of our essential commodity. This fuel price hike is affecting the common people in our country we don't need Jio magic. We are just asking our rights
— Sadhiq Ali (@SadhiqAliINC) May 24, 2018
Whenever a question is directed towards them, they try to deflect it. What Cong did, what communist did. Why can't you answer why you did ,what you did ? And what are you going to do about it. BJP is so busy pinning the blame on other. A party with a difference has changed.
— Arun (@DrArun_) May 24, 2018
While the prices Mishra quoted may well be true, there is no denying that his party is currently under tremendous pressure due to high fuel prices - especially because it was the same party that had vehemently protested against equally high fuel prices during UPA's rule. And with fears of prices inching closer to the Rs 100 per litre mark in coming weeks, the nation-wide outrage may only escalate.
The current government, since coming to power, has hiked excise tax on petrol and diesel several times - prompting the opposition to accuse that it is busy filling its coffers at the cost of the common man. What is of even greater concern is that economic analysts do not see any relief on the horizon. This despite oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan repeatedly saying he has repeatedly urged for fuel prices to be brought under GST. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has towed a slightly different line and said that any cut on taxes on fuel would take a toll on welfare schemes. So, while BJP leaders are assuring of relief from high prices, BJP leaders are also defending the seemingly endless hikes in fuel prices.