New Delhi [India], January 7 (ANI): Noting that price of petrol and diesel was at its highest in the last 73 years, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday said that "insensitive and ruthless" BJP-led government was bent upon breaking the back of poor farmers and middle class and demanded that excise duties on petroleum products should be brought to the level of UPA government to provide immediate relief to people.
In a statement, she also demanded the repeal of three farm laws and fulfilling demands of agitating farmers.
She said that the Modi government was making "disaster an opportunity to fill its treasure" amid the adverse impact of coronavirus on the economy.
"For the first time in the history of independent India, the country is at crossroads today. On the one hand, the food providers of the country are protesting on the borders of Delhi in support of their legitimate demands on the borders of Delhi for the last 44 days, at the same time the autocratic, insensitive and ruthless BJP government of the country is busy breaking the back of the poor peasants and middle class," she said.
The Congress chief said Modi government has taken Rs 19 lakh crore from the pockets of the common man through the increase in excise duties in the last six-and-a-half years.
"Today the price of crude oil is USD 50.96 per barrel i.e. just Rs 23.43 per litre. Despite this, diesel is being sold for Rs 74.38 and petrol at Rs 84.20 per litre. This is the highest in the last 73 years. Despite lower prices in the international market, the government has broken all records of profiteering by increasing excise duty massively instead of giving benefit to people," she said.
She said the price of gas cylinders has also increased "and budget of every household disturbed".
"I demand that the rates of excise duty on petrol and diesel be similar to that in the UPA government to provide immediate relief to people. I also urge the government to repeal all three farming laws immediately and fulfill all the demands of the farmers," she said. (ANI)