Criticizing the Union government for inflation, especially over the rising prices of petroleum products, Congress on Thursday said for this government, election victories mean “licence to loot” the people.
Speaking to reporters in Bhopal, party spokesperson Ragini Nayak also alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government was taking “revenge” on farmers who agitated against the farm laws by making fertilizer costlier.
The BJP won assembly elections in four out of five states in March.
“The rising prices imposed on people after April 1 have crushed the people’s backbone and disturbed the budget of each and every family in the country,” she said.
“Now victory in polls for the Modi government means licence to loot,” she added.
In the last 17 days, the prices of petrol and diesel have been increased 14 times, resulting in a hike of Rs 10 for both the fuels, Naik said.
When the Congress-led UPA was in power in 2014, petrol cost Rs 71.41 per litre and diesel was priced at Rs 55.49 per litre, but now the prices of both fuels have crossed Rs 100, she said.
Since 2014, the excise duty on petrol was raised to Rs 18.70 from Rs 9.20 per litre while that on diesel was raised to Rs 18.34 per litre from Rs 3.46, the Congress spokesperson said.
This meant the excise on diesel went up 531 per cent and that on petrol increased 203 per cent in the last eight years, she said.
The Modi government has earned a profit of “Rs 26 lakh crore” by raising the excise duty on petrol and diesel, Nayak claimed.
The prices of LPG as well as piped natural gas (PNG) too were increased substantially, adding to the burden on the people, she said.
The Modi government was taking revenge on farmers’ agitation (which forced it to withdraw amendments to the farm laws) by raising the price of a bag of DAP fertilizer by Rs 150, she said. A bag of DAP (diammonium phosphate) now costs Rs 1,350, she added.
The Congress leader also criticised the Union government for raising toll on national highways from 10 per cent to 18 per cent from April 1, which she said will make travel costlier and increase the prices of goods.
The cost of constructing a house has increased by 15 per cent from April 1 as the prices of steel, cement, bricks, copper, sanitary fittings and wood, among other materials, have gone up, she claimed.
Congress will continue to agitate against price rise, Nayak added. PTI