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Congress to continue protest over fuel prices, inflation

Mallikarjun Kharge.  

Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday asserted that the party would continue to protest over fuel prices and inflation even as his party questioned the decision of the Chair to not allow a discussion on the floor of the House.

Speaking to reporters outside the Parliament House along with his colleagues, Deepender Hooda, Syed Naseer Hussain and Akhilesh Prasad Singh, Mr. Kharge said the government had earned over ₹ 21 lakh crore in the past six years by way of taxes and duties on petroleum products.

“Nobody knows where this money went, how it was spent or who got the benefit? On the one hand, you [the government] are reducing the burden on corporates by lowering corporate taxes and ₹ 1.25 lakh crore was foregone as revenue, you are putting so much pressure on women, the middle class and the ordinary citizens,” Mr. Kharge alleged.

Sonia’s letter to PM

He mentioned the February 21 letter of party president Sonia Gandhi to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in which she had argued for prices to be brought back to 2014 levels by rolling back additional excise duty.

Mr. Singh said the fuel prices were ₹ 25 cheaper in Nepal and youth in the bordering areas of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh were illegally procuring from Nepal and selling it on the Indian side.

Mr. Hooda said that in 2016, the government promised to double farm incomes by 2022 but the prices of wheat and paddy had gone up only by 30 %, while the cost of diesel has gone up by 89 %. He also raised the issue of the Chair not acceding to their request of paying homage to the 270-odd farmers who reportedly died in the course of the 102-old agitation against the farm laws.

“Can’t we spare a few minutes for our farmers?”asked Mr. Hooda, who claimed that he had requested the Chair to allow him to make obituary references.

Mr. Hussain said that whenever the Opposition wanted to raise an issue -- be it demonetisation, Citizenship (Amendment) Act, National Register of Citizens or COVID-19 -- on the floor of the House, there was reluctance to do so.

“When we were raising slogans, we were told it’s unparliamentary. If we don’t raise people’s issue on the floor of the House, what is the parliamentary democracy for?” he stated.

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Printable version | Apr 21, 2021 7:30:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/mallikarjun-kharge-raises-fuel-price-issue-in-rajya-sabha/article34017378.ece

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