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Telangana: BJP hits back after KTR raises issue of fuel prices

IANS | April 03, 2024 05:29 PM

HYDERABAD: The Telangana unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has hit back at Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) working president K.T. Rama Rao after he blamed Narendra Modi-led Central government for the steep hike in the prices of petrol and diesel during the last one decade despite the drop in crude oil price.

The BJP alleged that K.T. Rama Rao, popularly known as KTR, made malicious or misinformed observations on petrol and diesel prices in the country.

The war of words broke out on X on Wednesday over the BRS leader's post on prices of petrol and diesel on April 2, 2014, and April 2, 2024.

"Every Indian needs to think about this. Crude oil prices have come down by almost $20 per barrel since 2014 But petrol prices have gone up by Rs 35 per litre and diesel prices have gone up by Rs 40 per litre in the same decade! Who is to be blamed for this? Who should be held accountable for the price rises of essential commodities?" he asked.

KTR further made a comment for those who argue that the rupee has hit all-time low and therefore, fuel prices are spiralling.

He posted a screenshot of an old tweet by PM Modi on the devaluation of the rupee.

As then chief minister of Gujarat, PM Modi had stated that the rupee is losing strength because those sitting in Delhi are busy in corruption.

The BJP gave a strong counter to KTR's post.

"KTR Garu, the dynast of BRS, seems to be under the influence while making either malicious or misinformed observations on petrol and diesel prices in the country. Perhaps KTR is reeling under the Delhi Liquor Scam expose which has laid bare the collusion of his party and led to the arrest of his sister (K. Kavitha) by the ED, " it posted, adding that the people of the country know the real facts and have reposed their faith in PM Modi time and again.

"The Central government reduced petrol and diesel prices by Rs 5 per litre and Rs 10 per litre, respectively, in November 2021. In May 2022, petrol and diesel prices were cut by Rs 8 per litre and Rs 6 per litre, respectively. Last month, the public sector OMCs decided to cut petrol and diesel prices by a further Rs 2 per litre.

"In complete contrast, Telangana state government under KTR's party had been imposing one of the highest VAT rates in the country on petrol and diesel -- 35.2 per cent and 27 per cent, respectively.

"Compare the prices of petrol and diesel in Telangana and Uttar Pradesh, and a picture of utter mismanagement and insensitivity to the pain of the general public emerges.

"In Uttar Pradesh, petrol and diesel is cheaper by Rs 13 and Rs 8 per litre respectively, compared to Telangana, as on March 28, 2024.

"Only a debt-ridden and fiscally mismanaged state like Telangana under KTR's party rule needs to impose such high taxation on petroleum products, fuelling inflation and eroding ease of living for the people, " the Telangana unit of BJP said in a post on X.

The BJP claimed that over the last 10 years, the Central government battled the time bomb of Oil Bonds inherited from the UPA government, and despite the last three years of global turmoil, reduced the prices of petrol by nearly 7 per cent.

"KTR's party exploited the people and Telangana by raising 150 per cent more from VAT during 2014-2024 period even as the state continued to sink deeper into the debt crisis. The people of Telangana have seen the loot KTR's dynastic party is capable of. They are also witnessing how all the dynastic leaders and parties have come together under one banner to continue their business uninterrupted. But the people will teach them a lesson like BRS was in Telangana state elections, " it added.

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