'Stop Profiteering in a Pandemic': Sonia Wants Fuel Hike Scrapped

Hitting out at the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Union government over hike in fuel prices, Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Monday, 29 June, asked the Centre to immediately roll back the decision to increase petrol and diesel prices.

Accusing the Centre of hiking fuel prices 22 times since the lockdown was imposed in March, Gandhi demanded that the excise duty levied on diesel and petrol since March be rolled back.

"“Together with you and all Congress workers, I demand that the Modi government roll back petrol and diesel prices, that have been hiked during this coronavirus pandemic.”" - Sonia Gandhi, President, Congress

Accusing the Centre of profiteering at a time when the common man is faced with difficulties, Gandhi said “by wrongly hiking petrol and diesel prices, the government has set a new example forced collection of payments.”

Gandhi also claimed that the government has found a new way of filling its treasures at a time when international fuel prices have been low.

“From 2014, instead of passing on the benefits of low crude oil prices to the people, the government has increased excise duty on petrol and diesel, collecting an extra amount of Rs 18 lakh crore.”

She added that the direct impact of this price hike would be on poor farmers, the salaried middle-class and small enterprises.

Gandhi’s attack on the BJP government comes on a day when her party has organised nationwide protests against the fuel hike. In Delhi, leaders of the party were detained as they sat on a protest outside IP College.

In Karnataka, Pradesh Congress Committee President DK Shivakumar and former CM Siddaramaiah took out a cycle rally to protest fuel hike.

Protests have also been organised in Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Odisha, Bihar, Bengal, among other states.

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