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‘Stop Tormenting People’: Mamata Banerjee To Centre On Fuel Price Hike

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee accused Centre of conducting a ‘great Indian loot’ by hiking the prices of petrol, diesel, LPG and other essential commodities.

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West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee at an event in Kolkata.(File photo) PTI Photo/Swapan Mahapatra

After the news of a hike of Rs 50 in the price of a domestic LPG cylinder, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday alleged that the BJP-led central government is "tormenting" the people of the country by regularly raising prices of fuel.

She also accused the Centre of conducting a "great Indian loot" by hiking the prices of petrol, diesel, LPG and other essential commodities.

"The Union government must immediately stop tormenting the people of India! By repeatedly increasing fuel prices, LPG prices & prices of essential commodities, @BJP4India is actually conducting a 'GreatIndianLoot'. People are being fooled," Banerjee said on Twitter.

The price of domestic cooking gas was hiked by Rs 50 per cylinder on Saturday, the second increase in the last two months, taking the price to Rs 1,026 per cylinder in Kolkata.

The price of an LPG cylinder varies across cities depending on the local taxes. 

People are facing hardship as the prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas are skyrocketing, but “the Narendra Modi government appeared unfazed,” TMC national spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP Sukhendu Sekhar Ray told reporters here later in the day.

"Every product becomes dearer as a result of the fuel prices hike. Moreover, the BJP government has effected a  price hike for medicines. People are feeling the pinch,” he said. 

Responding to a demand by the BJP that the West Bengal government must reduce value-added tax on petroleum products, Roy said, "the state is yet to get Rs 98,800 crore as dues from the Centre, which has been pending for months despite repeated reminders”. 

Alleging that the Centre “did not take any step” to cushion the impact of the fuel price hike on people, he said the Modi government is "on the one hand talking about cooperative federalism and on the other hand taking unilateral decisions". 

"CM Mamata Banerjee had advocated a meeting among states to fine-tune strategy to protect people from volatility of fuel prices, but this (BJP) government is interested in making profits only. 

"If the Centre clears dues, the state will do its bit to give some comfort to its residents,” Roy said.

He claimed that the TMC has been demanding a Constitutional amendment so that the cess and surcharge on petroleum products can be shared with states. 

“As the Centre has been meting out a step-motherly treatment to Bengal, they are silent," the TMC leader alleged.

Reacting to Roy’s comment, BJP state spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya said, “Roy was with the Congress before joining the TMC. He must remember what his late leader Rajiv Gandhi had once said that fuel hike is a global phenomenon”. 

"Why doesn't he urge his leader Mamata Banerjee to bring petrol and diesel in GST ?" Bhattacharya said. 

He also claimed that "the Modi government is monitoring the global situation and taking every possible step to check spiralling fuel prices and other commodities."

(With PTI inputs)
 

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