New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Nitin Gadkari on Thursday termed the nation-wide shutdown against last week`s hike in petrol prices, as the common man`s reaction to the wrong economic policies and corrupt governance of the Congress party.
"It is the reaction of the common man against the wrong economic policies and bad and corrupt governance of the Congress Party. During the NDA rule, the petrol rate was Rs 33. 70 per litre. Now, it is Rs 69.40 per litre, a rise of 137 percent...who is responsible? Now, it is time for the government to find out ways to close the gap, which is available in the country, to get the maximum production. Even in the Krishna Basin, we have got a lot of potential. But exploitation is not being done in a proper way," Gadkari said.
"Ethanol is available in the Indian market. Why is the government not encouraging the use of ethanol. They can add 25 percent ethanol to gas and diesel. But, they are not taking that decision. And, every day, prices are rising. It is all because of the wrong economic policies of the government. It is very difficult for the common man to survive,`` he added.
Gadkari further asked: "Why is all this happening. Who is responsible for this?
"The Prime Minister is a great economist, but our economy is a disaster. Parties supporting the UPA are also responsible for this. This shutdown is just a warning to the government to think about the people," he said.
He also appealed to party workers to observe the shutdown peacefully.
"I appeal to all my party members that the nation-wide shutdown should be peaceful and successful," he said.
The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is spearheading a nation-wide shutdown in protest against last week`s hike in petrol prices.
The Congress party-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA-II) Government had on March 24 announced a hike in petrol prices by rupees 7.50 per litre.
The move has triggered fierce howls of protest and outcry from the masses, and parties from across the national political spectrum, including key government allies, who are vehemently demanding a rollback in the petrol price hike.
Moreover, Defence Minister A.K. Antony had earlier said that the petrol price hike was not a ``correct step``. This has further fuelled speculation of dissent within the UPA Government over the petrol price hike.
The hike in prices meant that the price of petrol in Delhi went up from rupees.65.64 to.73.14 per litre. In Mumbai, the price shot up from rupees.70.66 to 78.16 per litre whereas in Kolkata, the price rose to rupees 77.53 from 70.03 per litre. In southern state of Tamil Nadu, the cost jumped from rupees 69.55 to 77.05 per litre.