Senior BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday hit out at the Maharashtra government, saying that its "outright refusal" to slash the excise duty on petrol and diesel, has exposed the hollowness of some of its leaders, who blame the Centre for the fuel price hike.
He also warned that the BJP would launch an agitation to press for its demand to slash the fuel prices in the state once the winter session of the state legislature ends. "The most discouraging stand of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government has been its flat refusal to cut excise duty on fuel prices. There were some leaders from this government who held cycle rallies against the Centre for high prices of fuel. But their hollowness now stands exposed as their own government has refused to cut down the fuel rates," Fadnavis told reporters.
Some 25 states in the country have already reduced the excise duty on fuel and provided relief to people, the former Maharashtra chief minister said. "Why doesn't the MVA government follow the same path and offer relief to citizens?" he asked. The Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly said if the Shiv Sena-led state government refuses to do so, then the BJP would hold state-wide rallies to demand slashing of fuel prices in the state.
"If the government does not slash excise duty on fuel, then we will definitely hold statewide rallies demanding bringing down fuel prices in the state once the winter session of the state legislature gets over,'' he said. The BJP leader also expressed disappointment over the MVA dispensation's decision of not merging the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) with the state government.
"This government should have at least offered something to the MSRTC employees instead of bluntly saying the merger option should be forgotten. The salary hike offered to them is inadequate and the government's attitude towards them is disappointing," Fadnavis alleged. A section of the MSRTC employees has been on strike since October 28 demanding that the undertaking be merged with the state government, which would give them better salaries and greater job security.
-With PTI Inputs