Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is leading a protest against fuel price hike by Congress MPs – both from Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha – in Delhi. Gandhi, a vehement critic of the BJP-led government, has stepped up his offensive against the ruling party in the last few days amid a surge in fuel prices. The protest is being held at the iconic Vijay Chowk.
The Congress has also launched its three-phase campaign – ‘Mehngai-mukt Bharat Abhiyaan’ – against the center, which will continue till April 7. “In the last 10 days, petrol and diesel price have been increased nine times. We demand that the rising prices should be brought under control. The Congress is holding nationwide protests on this issue today,” Gandhi told reporters.
“We had predicted that as soon as elections in five states will conclude, the fuel prices will be hiked. We demand that fuel prices be rolled back. The government cannot understand the difficulties being faced by the public because of the rise,” Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury told ANI. In a video shared by the news agency, the MPs were also seen shouting slogans against the government.
India saw another surge on March 31 – the ninth revision in 10 days – as per liter cost was raised by another 80 paise. Delhi now sells petrol at ₹101.81 per liter while diesel is being sold at ₹93.01 liters. In Mumbai, the country’s financial capital, one liter of petrol now costs ₹116.72 while diesel costs ₹100.94 per liter.
The opposition has been attacking the government even as several union ministers have said the spike in prices is linked to the Ukraine war, which began on February 24. The prices have surged after a break of four months and critics have linked it to the end of assembly elections in five states after the BJP claimed victory in four states.
Gandhi targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a tweet, and said PM Modi has a “daily to-do list”. “Prime Minister’s daily to-do list – how much to increase in petrol, diesel and gas rates, how to stop discussion on rising expenses, how to show hollow dreams of employment to the youth, which public sector company to sell and how to make farmers more helpless,” he wrote in Hindi. He used the hashtag #RozSubahkiBaat, in a swipe over PM Modi’s radio address – ‘Mann Ki Baat’.