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Fuel prices fall: Amit Shah says relief for people, Congress calls it poll tactics

Amit Shah has said the fall in prices shows BJP government sensitive to needs of people. Congress says it's band-aid after inflicting 'thousand cuts.'

Fuel prices fall: Amit Shah says relief for people, Congress calls it poll tactics
Reuters Photo

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress have once again locked horns on fuel prices, this time after the central government announced a Rs 2.50 per litre cut in petrol and diesel rates. While Amit Shah said the move shows that the government is sensitive to the needs of people, Congress termed it as a poll tactic.

On Thursday, finance minister Arun Jaitley made the much-awaited announcement of a price cut on the two fuels. He said that the result in a revenue loss of Rs 10,500 crore in six months but urged state governments to cut back on their taxes as well. Speaking to members of the press, BJP president later in the day said that the decision showed how BJP is working towards providing relief to the common man. "Today, the government took another decision for the benefit of masses. I welcome the decision on behalf of the BJP and congratulate PM Narendra Modi on behalf of people. BJP state governments too have decided to cut back on VAT by up to Rs 2.50," he said.



Prices of petrol and diesel would see a sizable cut Friday onwards in states like Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Goa and Tripura.

Congress though is not too eager to celebrate just yet.

Questioning the spate of hikes that propelled prices of the two fuels to record numbers, party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the most recent price cut is insignificant. "It (price cut) is a panic reaction against people’s anger by a Modi government facing imminent defeat in the five election-going States. After inflicting a thousand wounds, Modi government applies band-aid of a marginal cut in the prices of petrol and diesel," he said.

Prices of the two fuels have soared to unprecedented highs in recent months. The government had been facing a lot of flak for not keeping a check on the prices but on its part, it said that international crude prices and strengthening of the dollar had taken matters out of its hands. There has also not been any substantial word on bringing the two fuels under the ambit of Goods and Services Tax (GST).

With elections in several states scheduled for later in the year as well as the all-important Lok Sabha elections of 2019, fuel prices is likely to become a key point of argument between BJP and rival parties.