Rising petrol, diesel prices sparks concern in Bihar’s ruling JD(U) about NDA’s performance in Lok Sabha polls

Sources in JD(U) said its leaders got feedback from the party’s district and block-level leaders that the party workers want this issue to be raised with the central government.

Published: 05th September 2018 10:35 PM  |   Last Updated: 05th September 2018 10:35 PM   |  A+A-

petrol price, petrol pump,

Petrol prices in Patna have now touched Rs 85.57 per litre while diesel is sold at Rs 77 per litre. (File | EPS)

Express News Service

PATNA: With petrol and diesel prices touching an all-time high in Bihar, the ruling JD(U) is feeling uneasy about rising public discontent and fears that it may affect NDA’s prospects in the state in next year’s Lok Sabha polls.

Sources in JD(U) said its leaders got feedback from the party’s district and block-level leaders that the party workers want this issue to be raised with the central government. After a discussion was held on the matter, JD(U) spokespersons have started raising the issue publicly, asking the Centre to address the crisis expeditiously.

“Rising petrol and diesel prices are hurting now. Dollar soaring and rupee falling takes the air out of rising GDP. We do hope PM @narendramodi will act ASAP,” tweeted JD(U) spokesperson Ajay Alok.

BJP leaders were shocked by the tone of Alok’s tweet and his tagging the prime minister in it. But the saffron party explained away JD(U)’s public alarm over petrol and diesel prices as a part of the regional party’s “pressure tactics” to get a better bargain in seat-sharing formula for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Petrol prices in Patna have now touched Rs 85.57 per litre while diesel is sold at Rs 77 per litre. With petrol prices in Bihar being higher than in many big cities across the country over the past few days, public resentment is steadily growing.

“If petrol and diesel prices are not brought under check, it will lead to a rise in the costs of transportation and agricultural activities, which will result in a rise in the prices of essential commodities. The issue must be addressed immediately,” said Rajiv Ranjan, another JD(U) spokesperson.

Industry bodies also voiced concern on the issue. “Bihar being a large state with nearly 12 crore people, the steadily rising prices of petrol and diesel may become a dampener in the upcoming festive season,” said Bihar Chamber of Commerce and Industries (BCCI) president PK Agrawal.

One of the reasons behind the higher prices of petrol in Bihar is that the state government levies a 24 per cent VAT on petrol along with an additional 20 per cent surcharge on VAT.

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