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Oppn Slams BJP for ‘Fleecing’ Indians as Fuel Prices Rise Again

The continuing rise of petrol and diesel prices across the country has prompted leaders from opposition parties to slam the Modi government and demand corrective measures at the earliest. On Monday, 21 May, petrol and diesel prices rose for the eighth consecutive time, a day after their prices touched record highs.

While the price of petrol stood at Rs 76.57 a litre in Delhi on Monday, diesel hit Rs 67.82 a litre, reflecting a rise of 33 paise and 25 paise through Sunday respectively.

The price of petrol stood at Rs 79.24 in Kolkata, Rs 84.4 in Mumbai and Rs 79.47 in Chennai, as per the Indian Oil Corporation. As far as diesel is concerned, the price rose to Rs 70.37 in Kolkata, Rs 72.21 in Mumbai and Rs 71.59 in Chennai.

On Sunday, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan attributed the hike in fuel prices to the low production of oil in the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and a hike in crude oil price in the international market.

Petroleum Minister Says Solution in the Offing, But Offers No Details

The minister also pointed fingers at the “fight between America and Iran” – referring to the withdrawal of US from the Iran Nuclear Deal – for the crude oil price hike in the international market.

"I accept that people of India and especially the middle-class families have to suffer a lot due to price hike of oil. It’s not in our hand. There is less production of oil in OPEC countries. The Indian government will soon come out with a solution." - Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan

Pradhan, however, did not spell out the details.

Also Read: Petrol, Diesel Prices At All-Time Highs; Mumbai The Costliest

Cong Accuses Modi of Using Fuel Price as Political Tool

Meanwhile, the Congress dubbed the increase as ‘fleecing’ Indians, alleging that prices were being used by PM Narendra Modi “as a tool” to benefit BJP during elections. It demanded that the prices should stay at least at par with the rate observed during the Karnataka Assembly elections.

"If he (Modi) can control the price (of petrol and diesel) for his own interest during the polls in Karnataka, why can’t he do it now and all year around in public interest? That means fuel prices is just a tool for him to get the benefit in elections. On behalf of the people of India, at least control the price if you cannot reduce it. Modi should give priority to the interest of public over his political interests." - Congress spokesperson Jaiveer ShergillOpposition Leaders Slam Hike on Twitter

Leaders of other Opposition parties, including TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, CPI(M)’s Sitaram Yechury, DMK’s working president MK Stalin and rebel JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav, took to Twitter to raise concerns and lash out at the Modi government over the increasing prices.

Meanwhile, the Congress-led UDF in Kerala said on Sunday that the frequent hike in prices of petroleum products was because the BJP-led government at the Centre was allegedly colluding with oil companies to 'help' them make 'unfair' profits.

The Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Assembly Ramesh Chennithala also criticised the CPI(M)-led LDF government in the state, saying it was not doing anything to alleviate the sufferings of the people due to the frequent hike in the prices of fuel.

(With inputs from PTI and IANS)

Also Read: Petrol, Diesel Prices Hiked After Karnataka Polls, Oppn Hits Out

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