Leaders of the opposition parties once again hit out at the BJP-led central government on Wednesday as fuel prices in India were hiked for the 8th time in 9 days.
Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said on Wednesday the ‘Modi government has hit a century of petrol’ as prices crossed ₹100-mark in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata and several other cities.
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor took to Twitter to compare the daily hike in fuel prices to ‘drip torture’. “Who told the BJP that drip torture is more saleable to the public than the guillotine (tool designed to behead),” he wrote implying that the rising prices of petrol and diesel and a way of killing people.
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge told news agency ANI that reducing fuel prices was BJP’s strategy to win the elections. “Now they are compensating by increasing prices, in the guise of the Russia-Ukraine war,” he said.
Diesel in Mumbai soared above the mark on Wednesday as state-run oil marketing companies raised auto fuel rates by 80 paise per litre for the eighth time in nine days. The petrol prices crossed ₹100 a litre in Delhi on Tuesday.
Fuel has now become costlier by ₹5.60 a litre since March 22, when the prices were hiked for the first time after a four-month hiatus – a period during which election campaigns and polling were held in five states – Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa, Manipur.
The government has been facing heat from opposition parties over the surge in fuel prices. Congress leaders have been accusing the BJP-led government of ‘tax-gouging’ and ‘profiteering’ over the fuel price surge. Meanwhile, the government continues to underline that the Ukraine war is one of the factors behind the spike.
Moody’s Investors Services said last week that state-owned fuel retailers – Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) – together lost around ₹19,000 crore in revenue for keeping petrol and diesel prices on freeze during the election period.
India is 85 per cent dependent on imports for meeting its oil needs, PTI reported. Russia’s Ukraine invasion and escalating sanctions have hampered the oil flows across the globe. Brent crude hovered around $108.26 per barrel on Wednesday as per marketwatch.com, following a sharp decline after hitting an all-time high in the previous weeks.