Govt ‘extorting’ people with fuel price hikes, says Sonia Gandhi

Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday attacked the BJP government at the Centre for raising fuel prices 22 times since the lockdown, accusing it of extorting people, and sought an immediate rollback of the hikes.

She charged the government with profiteering at the expense of the people, saying its duty was to help them in times of crisis and not make profits out of their hard-earned money.

Also read: Petrol price up 25 paise, diesel 21 paise

Participating in the Congress’ “Speak Up Against Fuel Hike” campaign across the country, she said on the one hand, the COVID-19 pandemic was wreaking havoc and on the other, the rise in petrol and diesel prices was making life very difficult for the people.

The Congress launched the countrywide campaign on Monday to press the central government to roll back fuel prices as they were hurting the common people.

Party leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also joined the campaign on social media, and urged people to join them in pressing the government to reduce fuel prices.

“I, along with all Congressmen and others together, demand from the Modi government to immediately roll back the increase in prices of petrol and diesel raised during this crisis due to the corona pandemic,” Ms. Gandhi said in a video message.

Also read: Maharashtra minister questions silence of Amitabh Bachchan on rising fuel prices

“I also urge them to roll back the rise in excise duty on petrol and diesel since March this year and give this benefit to the countrymen. This will be a big relief in this period of economic crisis,” she said.

The Congress chief said this in its own was the living proof of taking the hard-earned incomes of the people and filling the government’s coffers.

Also read: Petrol nears ₹80 mark, diesel at new high after 16th price hike in a row

“The government’s duty is to support the countrymen in difficult times and not take advantage of their plight and profiteer.

“The government has set a new example of extortion from people through this unjustified increase in petrol and diesel prices. This is not only unjust but also insensitive,” Ms. Gandhi said, noting that it directly hurts the country’s farmers, the poor, the working class, the middle class and the small businesses.

She said the price of petrol in national capital Delhi and other big cities has crossed ₹80 per litre.

“After the March 25 lockdown, the Modi government, in the last three months, has raised the prices of…

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