Congress hiked fuel prices as revenge for poll debacle: Karnataka LoP Ashoka

This hike will in turn increase prices of logistics, transportation, and of essential produce like fruits, vegetables and even milk.
LoP R Ashoka addresses a press meet in Vidhana Soudha on Sunday
LoP R Ashoka addresses a press meet in Vidhana Soudha on Sunday Photo | Express

BENGALURU: Hitting out at the state government for increasing petrol and diesel prices in Karnataka, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly R Ashoka claimed that the Congress-led dispensation is taking revenge on the people for defeating the party in the recent Lok Sabha polls.

Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Ashoka said that in the last one year, the Siddaramaiah government has given “price rise bhagyas” to the people. The government has increased prices of milk, stamp duty, electricity, guidance value, liquor, and now, fuel. “During the previous BJP government, when fuel became costlier by just Re 1, the present CM Siddaramaiah and Deputy CM DK Shivakumar had protested, but now their own government has increased fuel prices by Rs 3,” he said.

Further, Ashoka said the state government has allotted Rs 55,000 crore for its guarantee schemes, resulting in non-payment of salaries to employees. “By increasing fuel prices, the government is aiming to collect Rs 4,000 crore,” he alleged. This hike will in turn increase prices of logistics, transportation, and of essential produce like fruits, vegetables and even milk.

Ashoka alleged that the Congress, which could not even touch double-digits in Karnataka and 100 in the country, in the LS polls, is taking its revenge. The fuel price increase in Karnataka is as per instructions from senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, he claimed, demanding, “When we were in power, we had decreased the same by Rs 7 per litre. The present government should take back its order of increasing petrol and diesel prices by Rs 3.”

Ashoka also said that in order to mobilise funds for its schemes, the Congress is even selling state government properties, and has geared up to sell BBMP, BDA and BWSSB properties. “They might mortgage Vidhana Soudha too,” he alleged.

The LoP added that the state government is also not implementing the Seventh Pay Commission. Even Congress MLAs are upset with the fuel price increase, he said.

In Hassan, BJP state president BY Vijayendra stated that the state government is facing financial crunch, with the revenue generated by the different sectors being diverted to fund the Congress’ guarantee schemes.

Meanwhile, the Karnataka BJP leaders have decided to organise a protest on Monday, opposing the state government’s move to increase fuel prices in the state. The protest will be organised at Freedom Park in Bengaluru, and in other parts of the state.

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