Fuel price hike in Karnataka and Lok Sabha election results are not related, says CM Siddaramaiah

Even after the increase, the prices are less than those prevailing in the other southern States, according to Siddaramaiah

Updated - June 16, 2024 08:05 pm IST

Published - June 16, 2024 07:49 pm IST - Belagavi

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah addressing the media at the helipad in Inchageri village of Vijayapura on Sunday.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah addressing the media at the helipad in Inchageri village of Vijayapura on Sunday. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

There is no truth in the allegations that the State government has increased taxes on fuel due to an unfavourable result in the Lok Sabha elections, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said in Vijayapura on Sunday.

“Winning and losing are common occurrences in an electoral democracy. Petrol and diesel price hike has nothing to do with the recent election results,” he told reporters at the helipad in Inchageri village.

He was responding to a statement by Opposition leader R. Ashok that the Congress government has increased the taxes to avenge its loss in the general elections.

“It is true that we did not get as many seats as we expected. We expected to win 15 seats. We had estimated that we will win in Vijayapura too. But we lost. That is all right. Winning and losing are part of a routine process in a democracy. Even though we got less seats, our vote share has increased. We also increased our tally compared to the last Lok Sabha polls and the BJP reduced its tally from 25 to 17,” he said.

“In fact, it is the BJP that has lost the elections. In the last Lok Sabha, the BJP had 303 seats and this time, it could win only 240 seats. Its vote share has also reduced. It shows that the so-called Modi wave has abated,” he said.

“Petrol price is low in Karnataka as compared to other neighbouring States. In 2021, the tax on petrol was 35%. It was 24% on diesel. But following a reduction by the Union government, we reduced them. But other States like Kerala, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu did not reduce them. Now, the price of petrol in Karnataka, due to the increase of ₹3, has gone up to ₹102. It is equivalent to the prices existing in Tamil Nadu. It is ₹106.66 in Kasaragod, Kerala, ₹109.44 in Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh, ₹107.40 in Hyderabad in Telangana and ₹104.46 in Maharashtra. Our prices are still lower than all these,” he said.

Reacting to Union Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy’s statement that the price of petrol has never been so high in the history of Karnataka, the Chief Minister said that when Mr. Kumaraswamy was Chief Minister, tax on petrol was 35%.

“In BJP-ruled Rajasthan, the price of petrol is ₹104.86 and in Madhya Pradesh, it is ₹106.47,” he said.

Responding to complaints by some Congress legislators that the government has not made enough allocations in view of the guarantee schemes, the Chief Minister said that adequate development grants have been allocated to all constituencies.

He dismissed the claims that the guarantee schemes will be stopped after the Lok Sabha election results. “The guarantee schemes have been implemented for the benefit of the poor and not with a view on elections. They will continue,” he said.

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