Punjab Congress on Monday announced a state-wide protest on May 31 against the rising fuel prices and sought Rs 100 per quintal as bonus for paddy growers, claiming high diesel prices had put additional financial burden of crores of rupees on growers since the previous year.
Taking a jibe at the BJP leaders, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee President and Gurdaspur MP Sunil Jakhar sought to know whether they will now again resort to 'Bharat Bandh' and 'Jail Bharo Andolan' which he said, they had announced on May 31m 2012 (during UPA regime) against the high fuel prices.
He said the fuel prices impacted all the sections of the society and charged the BJP led government at the Centre with not paying heed to demands for price cut.
Punjab Congress unit even played the video clips of some BJP leaders, criticising the then UPA government for the rising fuel prices in May 2012.
"On May 31, 2012, the brent crude oil price was USD 104.09 a barrel and diesel rate was Rs 40.91 per litre. Now on May 25, 2018, crude oil rate was USD 67.50 per barrel and diesel price was Rs 69.09 a litre, which is almost Rs 30 per litre higher than what it was in 2012.
"I want to ask BJP leaders, who led the agitation at that time, will they again launch the same 'Jail Bharo Andolan' which they held in 2012 (against UPA government) as vthe fuel prices were ruling at much higher rate," Jakhar said.
He asserted that rising fuel prices had impacted state farmers adversely.
"Diesel price has gone up by Rs 15 a litre between 2017 and 2018 and this increase will not get reflected in the MSP which would be announced by the Commission for Agricultural Costs & Prices (CACP).
The hike in fuel rates put a financial burden of Rs 1,300 to Rs 1,500 crore on the state growers, he claimed.
"We want Rs 100 per quintal bonus for paddy growers only for difference in diesel rates in last one year," he said.
Jakhar further announced that Congress would hold the state-wide protest against the soaring fuel prices at all the district headquarters on May 31, "the same day in 2012 when BJP leaders had observed Bharat Bandh".
When asked why the state government could not provide relief to people by reducing taxes on fuel, Jakhar evaded a direct reply and said, if the Centre announced it could not provide any relief , then the state government could consider the matter.
However, he said that the Centre could not shy away from its responsibility.