Amid the opposition's attack on the government over the hiked LPG prices stating its link to the vote bank politics, Union Minister for Petroleum Dharmendra Pradhan on Thursday refuted that the hike in LPG prices is due to elections. Talking to media, Dharmendra Pradhan said that the increase in prices is due to the changes in global consumption. Pradhan's reaction comes after the Congress party has launched an offensive over the hike in LPG rates.
Talking to reporters, the petroleum Minister stated that the overall hike in LPG is determined by the changing scenario in global markets and consumption. In addition, he also stated that energy is a major global commodity. He added that the LPG prices are constantly fluctuating. Refuting the Congress party's allegations, Pradhan stated that he is not responsible.
Union Minister of Petroleum&Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan: LPG price hike is not related to elections. LPG price hike depends on global markets&consumption. Energy is a global commodity. Sometimes it goes up, sometimes it goes down. It's not in my hand. pic.twitter.com/qn1FhKgiag— ANI (@ANI) February 13, 2020
Even so, several opposition leaders have attacked the ruling Bharatiya Janta Party over the rise in prices. Earlier on Thursday, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi took a jibe at the government. Taking to Twitter, Gandhi posted an old picture where BJP leaders are seen protesting against the gas price hike during the UPA regime and added a sarcastic caption to it.
Meanwhile, the women's wing of the Congress party assembled outside the Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas office in New Delhi and staged a massive demonstration. The rally was spearheaded by All India Mahila Congress chief Sushmita Dev and other leaders like Alka Lamba. The demonstrations were organised against the rise in prices of non-subsidised 14 kg Indane gas in metros which came into effect on Wednesday. Slogans like "Cut gas prices" were being chanted and placards with mentions of LPG prices in metro cities – Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkata were displayed.
The LPG prices on Wednesday saw a hike by a steep Rs 144.5 per cylinder due to spurt in benchmark global rates of the fuel. However, the government has almost doubled the subsidy it provides on the fuel to keep per cylinder outgo almost unchanged. The LPG price was increased to Rs 858.50 per 14.2 kg cylinder from Rs 714, according to a price notification of state-owned oil firms. Apparently, this is the steepest hike in rates since January 2014 when prices had gone up by Rs 220 per cylinder to Rs 1,241. Along with it, the domestic LPG users, who are entitled to buy 12 bottles of 14.2-kg each at subsidised rates in a year, will get more subsidy.