Taking a jibe at the Central government over its decision to reduce excise duty on petrol and diesel, the Congress on Friday called it a 'reaction' of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to the 'debacle' it suffered in the recently held by-elections to 30 assembly seats in 14 states.
Congress further claimed that if the people of the country want petrol prices back to what they were earlier, they should ensure that the BJP loses the upcoming assembly elections in various states.
"Petrol prices are reduced because of the results of bypolls. If the people of this country want that petrol to be sold again at Rs 71.41 and diesel at Rs 55.91 then they should ensure that BJP loses in the upcoming elections in five states," said Congress national spokesperson Pawan Khera while speaking to ANI here today.
Congress General Secretary and Rajya Sabha MP, KC Venugopal also attributed the decrease in excise duty to the results of bypolls.
"Thanks to the byelection result and the agitation put forward by the Congress and various opposition parties... However, it hasn't been decreased much. During UPA govt excise duty on petrol was Rs 9.48/litre and diesel Rs 3.56/litre," said, KC Venugopal.
Confirming that the Congress party will continue with its earlier declared massive campaign against the fuel price, Venugopal said, "We'll continue our agitation and will start a massive campaign from November 14. In many states petrol is still more than Rs 100 per litre, common people cannot afford it like this. Government should at least decrease the excise duty imposed during the Covid period."
Earlier, Congress had said that they will organise a massive protest against the rise in petrol and diesel prices from November 14 till November 29. The protest will witness events like 'Padayatra' being taken out by the Congress leaders in their respective areas.
In relief to consumers, the Finance Ministry on Wednesday announced a Rs 5 per litre cut in excise duty on petrol and a Rs 10 per litre cut in excise duty on diesel. Amid record-high fuel prices, this is the first cut in central excise duties in over three years.
Post the central government's announcement, many BJP ruled states also declared a reduction in VAT on petrol and diesel in their own states.