HYDERABAD: On a day the price of petrol in Hyderabad reached about Rs 99.31 per litre, the Congress on Friday staged protests at petrol pumps across the state against the spiralling prices of petrol and diesel. Party leaders including Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) president N. Uttam Kumar Reddy, MPs A. Revanth Reddy, Komatireddy Venkat Reddy, MLAs and key leaders participated in the demonstrations at their respective places.
Addressing the agitators at a petrol pump near Secretariat, Uttam Kumar Reddy demanded that the Central and state governments reduce fuel prices and ease the burden on common people. He said the price of petrol had crossed Rs 100 per litre in several places. He said the prices of petrol were hiked by Rs 25 and diesel by Rs 23.90 in just one year.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has got the dubious distinction of raising the prices of petrol and diesel 43 times in one year. The TRS government at the state level has also pushed the burden on people by raising the VAT (value added tax),” he said.
He said the retail price of LPG refills had doubled, from around Rs 410 in 2014 to around Rs 850. He recalled that during the Congress-led UPA government, the total tax collected on petrol and diesel in 2013 was Rs 52,537 crore. In 2014, the Modi government collected more than Rs 72,000 crore in the form of taxes on petrol and diesel, he said adding that excise collections were over Rs 3 lakh crore in the year 2020 alone.
Wearing flowers on their ears symbolically, to show they were being made fools of, Congress activists raised slogans against the state and the Central governments. AICC spokesperson Dasoju Sravan, former PCC president Ponnala Laxmaiah, former MP Anjan Kumar Yadav and PCC leader B. Kishan participated in the protest.
Revanth Reddy, TPCC vice-president, participated in a protest at Ghatkesar and said he was worried over the increasing prices of petrol and diesel as the poor and middle-class people were facing problems in their daily life over spending money on petrol from their daily wages.
He said that millions had lost their jobs since last year due to the Coronavirus crisis but the Modi government had increased the price of petrol by Rs 25 on petrol and Rs 26 on diesel in 10 months. He said the cost of petrol was Rs 35 but Modi was levying Rs 35 per litre tax and Chandrashekar Rao Rs 32. , “Modi in Delhi and KD (Chandrashekar Rao) in gully” were conspiring to sell petrol at Rs 100 a litre.
Across the state, Congress Legislature Party leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramaraka participated in a protest in Khammam, MLC Jeevan Reddy in Jagtial, MLAs D. Sridhar Babu in Manthani, T. Jayaprakash ‘Jagga’ Reddy in Sangareddy, working president Ponnam Prabhakar in Karimnagar, AICC secretaries K. Vamshi Chand Reddy in Kalwakurthy and Sampath in Alampur participated in the protests.