The skyrocketing price of petrol and diesel prompted the ruling BJD here to allege that the BJP led central government “is using fuel prices as a political tool” as the price remains constant for at least 20 days each time there is an election in any state and then shoots up as soon as polls are over.
Food and Consumer Welfare Minister Ranendra Pratap Swain castigated the central government for the fuel prices and pointed out that it is now nearly Rs 110 per litre of petrol and Rs 104 per litre diesel in some parts of Odisha.
This has posed a threat to the livelihood of people, particularly those engaged in transport and trawler fishing activity.
Swain’s criticism of the central government came as a surprise as the BJD has all along been friendly to the BJP and the policies of the central government.
Earlier, during the UPA regime, the BJD used to hit the streets on every revision of petrol prices, but since 2019, it has never done so.
CM Naveen Patnaik has also remained silent on the price rise. He has also not reacted to the ghastly incident in Uttar Pradesh where farmers were run over at Lakhimpur.
Reacting to the criticism by Swain, the state BJP said revenue collected by way of taxes on fuel goes towards expenditure for Covid management all of which is done by the central government. It is the state which needs to reduce its taxation of petrol and diesel to reduce costs, the BJP said