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.
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.
The Modi Govt continues to fleece Indians on fuel prices. Petrol price in Mumbai has crossed Rs 84/L. This is the highest ever price for petrol in India. pic.twitter.com/snvo8Dy903— Congress (@INCIndia) May 20, 2018
"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.
We are very concerned about the rising prices of petrol and diesel. This will certainly affect prices all around. Common people, farmers and many will suffer— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) May 20, 2018
Modi, Shah and BJP leaders have all the money to lure and buy MLAs, as is evident from Karnataka. Why would they care for the honest and the hardworking who can't afford to pay for petrol and diesel now? #Corruption pic.twitter.com/QSE9FPBNLb— Sitaram Yechury (@SitaramYechury) May 20, 2018
I condemn, once again, the unprecedented hike in petrol and diesel prices. The Central Govt, which benefited from the dip in global crude oil prices, has punished the poor and middle classes through out. I call upon the BJP to cap fuel prices immediately.— M.K.Stalin (@mkstalin) May 20, 2018
Petrol/diesel prices touch all time high when d international prices are less than half in comparison with prices before d present Govt came to power. Instead of covering its fiscal deficit Govt should pass on d benefits of low international prices to d consumers.— SHARAD YADAV (@SharadYadavMP) May 21, 2018
For the sake of #KarnatakaElections #FuelPriceHike was put on hold..and as usual people were fooled by the BJP, now everyday its increasing.— Dinesh Gundu Rao (@dineshgrao) May 21, 2018
Modi govt gives no relief as his govt earns huge profits at the cost of the #AamAadmi.
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)
(The Quint is now on WhatsApp. To receive handpicked stories on topics you care about, subscribe to our WhatsApp services. Just go to TheQuint.com/WhatsApp and hit send.)
. Read more on India by The Quint.Nipah Virus in Parts of Kerala: What is It? Should We Worry? Oppn Slams BJP for ‘Fleecing’ Indians as Fuel Prices Rise Again . Read more on India by The Quint.