With prices of both petrol and diesel crossing the century mark, West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress and the BJP, seeking to get mileage before the bypolls to four Assembly constituencies in the state, are blaming each other for the uncontrolled rise of prices.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, at a rally in Kurseong on Sunday, blamed the ruling BJP at the centre for the rise of prices of fuel in the state.
“Even during the festivity, common people found it very difficult to make both ends meet as the price of petrol and diesel is on the rise. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched Ujjwala scheme but indirectly, the BJP government is forcing the people to start cooking using coal and cow dung. This is the real face of BJP,” she said.
Taking a cue from the Chief Minister, party spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said: “I cannot find anything more surprising when a Central minister says that the rise of prices of petrol and diesel is because to compensate for the huge amount of money the Centre has to give because of vaccination. How can a Central government say this? Our state was ready to provide free vaccination to all. It is to take the money back in a roundabout way.”
“The country is reeling under an unprecedented rise in fuel prices for several months now, but the BJP government is not concerned about the common people and their wellbeing,” he added.
The state BJP immediately shot back alleging that the non-BJP states are responsible for the rise of prices of petrol and diesel.
State BJP President Sukanta Majumdar said: “The Centre has been asking the states to bring petrol and diesel under GST and that will reduce the prices at least Rs 20, but the non-BJP states are not interested because that will not add anything to their state’s exchequer.”
Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress activists in Kolkata on Sunday burnt an effigy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and shouted slogans against the BJP-led Central government, as part of demonstrations against rising fuel prices.
Petrol was retailing at Rs 108.11 per litre in Kolkata on Sunday, while diesel was being sold at Rs 99.43 per litre. Diesel prices have already crossed the century-mark in several districts of the state.