The BJP on Monday asked opposition parties to desist from spreading "propaganda" against the central government over the issue of oil prices and instead slash petrol and diesel rates in states ruled by them.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi told reporters that while the Centre and the states ruled by her party have brought down petrol and diesel prices by Rs 5, opposition parties like the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party have not helped the masses by effecting a cut.
She argued that states have been benefitting due to rise in oil prices as the taxes they earn are based on a fixed percentage of the cost of petrol and diesel per litre, while the Centre's share of revenue is fixed for every litre.
Even out of the excise duty of Rs 19 the central government earns on a litre of petrol, 42 per cent goes to the states which, she added, earn extra revenue based on the value-added tax they levy. It ranges from 26 per cent to 30 per cent for most states.
"Non-BJP states have not been to the mark. They should show sensitivity and help people. They are only doing propaganda but not helping the people's cause," she said.
While the BJP-ruled states have followed suit and effected a cut of Rs 2.5 in petrol and diesel prices like the Centre, non-BJP states have not done so, she said.
She also rejected the Congress' criticism of the Narendra Modi government over hiking the excise duty over the years and helping oil companies "earn over Rs 13 lakh crore" under its tenure.
"It's all propaganda. The Congress should do what it can by reducing oil prices in states where it is in power," Lekhi said.
Defending the government over the continuing rise in oil prices, she said it was due to oil-producing countries' decision to limit their production and also due to turmoil in countries like Venezuela and Libya.
The increasing dollar-rupee exchange rate is also a reason, she said.
To a question about the BJP's stand on demands by some groups for a review of a Supreme Court's order that struck down the bar on women from entering Sabarimala temple in Kerala, she said as a woman she agreed with the dissenting judgement of Justice Indu Malhotra.
Justice Malhotra, the lone woman judge in the five-member Constitution bench, passed a dissenting judgement and said that issues which have deep religious connotation should not be tinkered with to maintain secular atmosphere in the country.
Lekhi, however, declined to articulate her party's views over the issue, saying the matter is now in court.
A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking review of the Constitution bench judgement.
The plea, filed by Shylaja Vijayan, president of National Ayyappa Devotees Association, said the September 28 judgment which had allowed entry of women of all ages in the hill-top shrine is "absolutely untenable and irrational, if not perverse".
With Hindu groups in Kerala mostly unhappy with the apex court's judgement, the BJP is treading cautiously on the matter.