The Janata Dal (United) on Wednesday said the Narendra Modi-headed government at the Centre should roll back the hike in cooking gas cylinder prices and also take steps to keep rising fuel rates under check.
A component of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), the JD(U) cited how the surging prices have affected households amid the Covid-19 pandemic and may play a role in the coming state elections.
JD(U) spokesperson KC Tyagi said the repeated hike in the LPG price has affected people’s budget adversely. “The government should roll back the hike,” he said.
Prices of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cooking gas cylinders across all categories, including subsidised gas, were hiked on Wednesday by ₹25 per cylinder — the third straight increase in rates in less than two months.
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Subsidised as well as non-subsidised LPG now costs ₹884.50 per 14.2-kg cylinder in Delhi, according to a price notification of oil companies.
Further, speaking against leaving petrol and diesel prices to market mechanisms, Tyagi said the government must step in to curb their cost for people’s benefit.
According to a report in NDTV, Tyagi further said the opposition might use this as a weapon against the alliance in the coming elections.
“There has been an unprecedented increase in prices (of petroleum products). See where the petrol and diesel prices are today… The kitchen budget has been hit badly. This is very worrying.
“As a friendly party, we want to suggest to the government that the recent increase in prices should be rolled back… There are Assembly elections scheduled in many states in the coming months. Our political opponents can use this as a weapon against us in these elections,” he was quoted as saying in the report.
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A number of states, including Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Uttarakhand, are set to see Assembly elections early next year,
Of late, the Nitish Kumar-led party which is in power in Bihar with the BJP, has taken positions on certain issues that have raised eyebrows.
On Sunday, the national council of the JD(U) passed a unanimous proposal stating Kumar is an able politician who can lead the nation as its Prime Minister.
JD(U) president Lalan Singh, who put forward the resolution which deemed Kumar as ‘prime ministerial material’, said the Bihar chief minister was neither the Prime Ministerial candidate in the NDA and nor was he a contender for the post, but he had all the qualifications to become one.
Earlier, Kumar had backed the opposition’s demand for an investigation into the alleged snooping involving Pegasus spyware.
He had also led the chorus for a caste census, a politically fraught issue over which the BJP has so far maintained silence and the Centre has spoken against a need for the same.
(With agency inputs)