**Bhubaneswar: ** In the wake of hike in the price of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) on Friday by Rs 2.34 for subsidized and Rs 48 for non-subsidised cylinders close on the heels of the spiralling price rise in petrol and diesel rate, the development stirred a hornet’s nest in Odisha’s political firmament.
Odisha’s ruling BJD senior MLA and party spokesperson Sanjay Das Burma burst, “The BJP-led NDA Government has come to power in India having given assurance for checking price rise. But, petrol and diesel prices are keeping on rising while now the hike in LPG cylinder’s rate has directly attacked on the kitchens. We condemn it. Being a regional party, BJD has often raised its voice through protests against the Centre’s anti-poor and anti-people policies. We will keep on protesting till the Centre has controlled the pinching price rise. Protesting the LPG price hike, our Mahila Morcha will step up the protest. It will be in a very intensified manner. Very soon we’ll decide on it and take up programme accordingly.”
“It was being claimed by BJP that they will honour 3 crore women. But the gas hike ironically evinces how they honour the dignity of the women. The Union Petroleum Minister from Odisha should be answerable,” he lampooned.
Senior Congress leader Suresh Chandra Routray reacted, “Modi is sinking in whole India due to the hike in petrol and diesel prices. The by-election is the evidence. Yesterday slashed a little bit in oil price and today hiked the LPG price. PM Modi is claiming that he is honouring the dignity of women. Is it the honour shown? It’s condemnable. The people have already given the fitting reply. The people will also aptly reply in the 2019 elections.”
“If such price hikes are not checked, Congress will take to the streets and give a fitting reply to the Modi Sarkar,” the senior Congress leader threatened.
On the contrary, Union Petroleum & Natural Gas Minister Dharmndra Pradhan defended, “Some friends have started howling and growling over the hike in the price of non-subsidised LPG cylinders. Political protest is right at its place. If the State Government is so concerned about it, let it put forth before the GST Council that zero tax will be levied on LPG in Odisha. Odisha Government imposes 5% tax as per the GST Council decision.”
Defending further he argued, “As the price of LPG has increased today in the international market, such a decision has to be taken. In Odisha, there is no cut in the benefits reaped by the customers of subsidized LPG. Rather it has increased. In May, the subsidized customer had gained Rs 159.29 paise. It is evident from the bank account credit through direct benefit. Now the customer will be entitled to Rs 204.95.”
Dharmendra lampooned, “Are the BJD people protesting against this benefit?”
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