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Shiv Sena blasts Modi govt over skyrocketing fuel prices; equates with previous UPA regime

Two days ago, the Sena, a constituent of the ruling NDA at the Centre and in Maharashtra, had said high fuel prices were the main reason for suicides by farmers in the country.
Reported by: PTI Mumbai September 20, 2017 15:42 IST
PTI

Attacking the Centre over fuel price hikes, Shiv Sena on Wednesday asked if rates had been kept high despite a slump in global crude oil prices to pay for interest on the loan taken from Japan for the bullet train project. Two days ago, the Sena, a constituent of the ruling NDA at the Centre and in Maharashtra, had said high fuel prices were the main reason for suicides by farmers in the country. 

In an editorial published in Sena mouthpiece Saamana, the party accused the government of not speaking on inflation. It added that those who are power do not want others to talk as well. It said that the common man is bearing the brunt of fuel prices going through the roof. “If people in government support the 20 times hike in fuel prices in the last four months, it is not correct.” 

The party had earlier decried Union Minister Alphons Kannanthanam's remarks on fuel price hikes as an ‘insult’ to the poor and the middle class, and alleged that those with no merit and no connect with the people were ruling the nation. 

The editorial even said that the previous government was better than the present one. During the UPA regime, crude oil prices were 130 dollars a barrel, yet petrol and diesel prices were never increased more than Rs 70 and Rs 53 per litre respectively, it added. 

Yet the opposition hit the streets to protest the high prices and even disrupted the Parliament. Today crude oil prices are at 49.89 dollars a barrel. Yet, people are not getting the benefits of low prices. Instead, petrol is being sold at Rs 80 and diesel at Rs 63 per litre. This is like looting the people, it alleged.

In other countries, petrol was sold at half the rate, the Sena noted.

Adding that the Japan government had given a loan to the government for the bullet train project, it asked, "Are these high prices of fuel being imposed on the people to recover the interest amount?"

The prices of cooking gas had increased by about 15 times in the last one year, it said, adding that in the Congress regime, cooking gas prices never went beyond Rs 320 per cylinder. Today, an LPG cylinder costs Rs 785. The prime minister wants to give us a bullet train, that is his dream. But today, people do not have enough money to fill two litres petrol in their scooters and cars.

On the one hand, it said, the rich would get a bullet train; on the other, the common man would have to travel by bullock carts as they would not be able to afford vehicles anymore.