The recent hike in petrol and diesel prices have earned the BJP-led NDA government scathing criticism from the Opposition camp.

Trinamul Congress(TMC), Congress and CPM trained their guns on the Union government on this burning issue.

Trinamul MP Derek O Brien said that the Centre is looting people and they will face the outcome a few months later in 2019 polls.

“The price of petrol and diesel are increasing regularly. People of the country are very well aware as to how they are being looted and will oust the BJP in the upcoming elections,” O’ Brien said adding that such looting cannot continue.

“The common public are at the receiving end. The prices of essential commodities will go up and this is happening when the price of fuel is going down in the international market”, he added.

The Trinamul MP said that the Centre has increased the excise duty nine times in the last four years.

“It was 3.5 per cent for diesel in 2014 and now it is 15.3 per cent. The excise duty was Rs 9.48 in 2014 and now it is Rs 19.48.”He said that the reduction of two per cent central excise was just an eyewash, as a cess was imposed simultaneously.

Derek O Brien had recently tweeted: “What price cut? Withdraw all excise. India has the most expensive fuel in South Asia. Why is BJP government unable to control oil prices? BJP government increased tax on petrol by Rs 10. Increased diesel tax by Rs. 11.77. Bengal never ever raised, only cut fuel tax”.

It may be recalled that Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee was the first to raise her voice against the hike in prices of petrol and diesel. She had tweeted stating that the hike in the prices of petrol and diesel would also lead to an increase in the prices of essential commodities.

Trinamul Congress leaders and workers had worn black badges on 4 and 5 August to protest against the hike in the fuel prices. Rallies were held in every city upto the block level.

If the fuel price hike is anything to go by then the Union government is following an agenda to exterminate the middle class, make the rich more properous and the poor remain in greater misery, former PCC chief and Rajya Sabha member Pradip Bhattacharya said on Monday.

After all, the middle class is worse hit along with the poor as they have to dig into their savings to pay for essential items and medicines, he said.

The mindless policy of the government is bringing the economy to the verge of destruction, Bhattacharya felt. Not only do my party strongly oppose this economic policy but we will agitate to register our protest and seek to bring down this regime, he said.

This fuel price hike is a pointer to the inefficiency of the NDA government to manage the national economy, CPM MP Md Salim said.

“Let Prime Minister see his image in the mirror and asses it in th backdrop of the misery of the people,” he added.

“The entire country is being reduced to poverty,” the CPI-M leader said. “More hardship is in store for the people if this regime continues,” he felt.