Cong planning nationwide protest against soaring fuel prices: Chennithala

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Kochi, Feb 12 (PTI) The Congress is planning a nationwide protest against the increasing fuel prices, senior party leader Ramesh Chennithala said here on Friday as he attacked the BJP-led government at the Centre over the soaring prices of diesel and petrol.

The Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Assembly, who is leading the 'Aiswarya Kerala Yatra' to prepare the ground for Congress-led UDF ahead of the Assembly polls, urged the centre and state governments to lower the excise duty on diesel and petrol to ease the burden on the people.

'The Congress is planning an all India protest, if the prices of fuel continue to soar on an uncontrolled level,' Chennithala told reporters here as he commenced today's yatra in Ernakulam district.

He alleged that the BJP-led government at the Centre and the LDF government in Kerala were indulging in profiteering instead of passing on benefits of low prices of crude oil to consumers by reducing the hiked rates of petrol-diesel-LPG gas.

The senior Congress leader said when the UPA government was in power, price of crude oil was USD 108 per barrel, but petrol and diesel was sold at a subsidised rate at Rs 71.41 and Rs 55.49 per litre.

'Now, the crude oil price is far less than the half of UPA rates but the Narendra Modi-led government has increased the prices of petrol-diesel sky high,' Chennithala said.

He also urged the CPI(M)-led government in Kerala to reduce the tax levies on fuel to provide relief to the people of the state hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Thursday, petrol price in the national capital closed in on record Rs 88 per litre mark while diesel neared Rs 85 in Mumbai after rates across the country were hiked for the third day in a row.

Rates vary from state to state depending on the local incidence of taxation (VAT) and freight. PTI TGB BN ADMINISTRATOR BN ADMINISTRATOR