Tamil Nadu's main Opposition AIADMK, a BJP ally, on Sunday welcomed the Centre's move on slashing excise duty on petrol and diesel and urged the ruling DMK in the state to follow suit and implement its poll promise on reducing prices of the petroleum products to benefit people.
AIADMK Coordinator O Panneerselvam said the Union government reducing excise duty on petrol by a record Rs 8 per litre and that on diesel by Rs 6 will help in cooling down the spiralling inflation and bring under control, the prices of essential commodities and fares of autorickshaws and taxis.
He also lauded the central government for other measures including provision of Rs 200 subsidy to the poor who got cooking gas connection under the Ujjwala scheme, for 12 cylinders in a year.
In a statement, the former CM, also known as OPS, urged the MK Stalin-led DMK government to now implement its promise regarding slashing fuel rates, made ahead of the 2021 Assembly polls and further benefit the citizens.
In fact, prices of some of the vegetables in the state including tomato were above Rs 100 a kilo, he said, adding the DMK was duty-bound to fulfill its poll promises.
"Considering people's welfare and aimed at controlling prices, inflation and to bring down the losses faced by state-run transport corporations (which operate diesel-run buses) besides implementing the poll promise, the chief minister (Stalin) should reduce the price of petrol (by a further) Rs 2 and Rs 4 for diesel per litre and ensure justice for people," Panneerselvam urged.
The DMK government had last year effected VAT cut to enable the consumers a Rs 3 per litre cut in the price of petrol. It had promised to slash the prices of petrol and diesel by Rs 5 and Rs 4 per litre, if elected to power, ahead of the April 2021 polls which it swept.
If the DMK kept its word on slashing rates, the price of petrol and diesel will cost around Rs 99 and Rs 89, respectively, the AIADMK leader claimed.
If the ruling DMK failed to do so, people will see it as "yet another Dravidian model", he sarcastically said, in an apparent reference to Stalin's oft-stated model of development taken forward by his government.
Panneerselvam also pointed to the Congress-ruled Rajasthan and LDF-headed Kerala announcing tax cuts following the Centre's move on Saturday.