Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president Ch. Anil Kumar said that Congress party will continue its “Mehngai Mukt Bharat Abhiyan” till the prices of petrol and diesel are brought down, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi had acted in an autocratic manner to raise the prices of petrol and diesel after fooling the people till the Assembly elections were over. Ch Anil Kumar said that the Congress agitation will be intensified in the coming days till the Modi Government ends the “Thel Ka Khel” (oil politics).
Delhi Congress workers, under the leadership of Ch. Anil Kumar, today held demonstration as Congress workers garlanded gas cylinders, motorcycles and scooters to register their anger and anguish, as the Modi Government did not even spare common households as at one stroke, Rs 50 was hiked on a cooking gas cylinder. Congress workers across Delhi held similar protests as petroleum products have become unaffordable for the common people.Ch. Anil Kumar said that both the Modi and Arvind Governments, after fooling the people during the Assembly elections with various hollow promises, were now squeezing the people devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic. He said that nine times in the past ten days, the prices of petrol and diesel were raised, and now a litre of petrol costs Rs 101.85 in Delhi while a litre of diesel has gone up by Rs 93.11.
Besides Ch. Anil Kumar, prominent others who participated in the protest were former Delhi Minister Prof. Kiran Walia, Chairman of the Communications Department and ex-MLA Shri Anil Bhardwaj, ex-MLAs Rajesh Jain, Hari Shankar Gupta, Amrish Gautam, Veer Singh Dhingan, District president Mirza Javed Ali, former District presidents Hari Kishan Jindal and Mohd. Usman, chief organizer of Delhi Congress Sewa Dal Sunil Kumar, chairman of the Legal and Human Rights Department Advocate Sunil Kumar, Rajesh Garg Vice-chairman of the Communications Department Anuj Attrey, Adv. Vijay Choudhary, Rajiv Joseph and. They also shouted slogans such as “Petrol-Diesel Ke Dam Kam Karo, Kam Karo”, “Gas Ke Dam Kam Karo, Kam Karo”, “Badthi Mehangai Par Modi Sharam Karo, Sharam Karo”, “Petrol-Diesel Par Loot Bandh Karo, Bandh Karo” etc.
Ch. Anil Kumar said that the Modi Government was least bothered about the plight of the people as the prices of petroleum products witnessed a sharp rise for nine consecutive days to help Modi’s rich industrialist friends, proving that all the promises he made to the people before the Assembly elections were only to mislead and fool the people, which bared the anti-people attitude of the Prime Minister Modi and his acolytes. He said that in many cities across the country, petrol and diesel were selling at over Rs 100 per litre, while a cylinder of cooking gas now costs Rs 1000.
Ch. Anil Kumar said that the Modi Government hiked the Excise Duty on petroleum products regularly in the past eight years to earn over Rs 26 lakh crore in tax, with a total tax hike of Rs 18.70 per litre of petrol and Rs 18.34 for a litre of diesel. He said that even when crude oil was sold in the international market for $60-70 per barrel, there was no letup in the hike in the prices of petrol and diesel. He said that when Modi became Prime Minister in 2014, and when crude oil in the international market cost $108 per barrel, a litre of petrol cost Rs 108, a litre of diesel Rs 55.49 while a cooking gas cylinder cost just around Rs 410. He said that the Modi Government’s strategy was to “loot the public, and fill its coffers” when the iron is hot.
Ch. Anil Kumar said that the Arvind Government, which claims to represent the “aam aadmi”, joined hands with the Modi Government in looting the people, as it collected Rs 20,000 crore in VAT, with Rs 19.4 per litre for petrol and Rs 16.75 per litre for diesel in VAT.