Shakeel Ahmad accuses BJP of promoting crony capitalism

Congress Co-incharge J&K Affairs Shakeel Ahmad addressing a press conference at Jammu on Sunday.
Congress Co-incharge J&K Affairs Shakeel Ahmad addressing a press conference at Jammu on Sunday.

People urged to actively support Bharat Bandh today

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Sept 9: Accusing the BJP Government at Centre of promoting crony capitalism in the country, AICC Secretary and Co-Incharge J&K Affairs Shakeel Ahmad today alleged that prices of petrol, diesel and LPG were hiked by the present regime to benefit a select group of capitalists.
“All the petrol pumps of Ambani Group, which were not functional till 2014, have suddenly become operational and making profit because of the pro-capitalist and anti-people policies of the Modi Government in the last four years,” he said while addressing a press conference, here today on the eve of Congress sponsored Bharat Bandh in protest against hike in petrol prices.
The Congress leader claimed that according to a RTI reply, the Modi Government was selling petrol to 15 foreign countries at just Rs 34 per liter and diesel to 29 foreign countries at a pittance of Rs 37 only. “These countries include England, Australia, America, Malaysia and Israel whereas on the on other hand, this Government is forcing own people to purchase petrol at more than Rs 80 per liter and diesel at Rs 70 per liter,” he added.
Reiterating the Congress demand that petrol and diesel be brought under the GST ambit, which would reduce the prices, Shakeel Ahmad also stressed that Central Excise, State VAT and other taxes on fuel should be immediately reduced for providing relief to common masses.
“Modi Government has already collected more than Rs 11 lakh cores as taxes on fuel by fleecing common people of the country and demolishing their budget,” the Congress leader said and added that the percentage increase on Central Excise Duty on petrol and diesel since 2014 was 211.7 and 443.06, respectively. Similarly, he added, prices of subsidized as well as non-subsidized LPG cylinder have also registered unprecedented increase.
“Besides affecting this unprecedented hike in fuel prices, this Government has also failed on all fronts. Whether it was GST or demonetization, common masses have suffered while crony capitalists were encouraged to influence big deals like that of Rafale,” Shakeel Ahmad alleged and urged people to actively support the Congress sponsored Bharat Bandh tomorrow in protest against the skyrocketing fuel prices.
The Congress leader further alleged that all the issue, on which the BJP had won 2014 Lok Sabha elections, have been sent to backburner by the saffron party, which was now hell bent to polarize the society for political gains.
Former Minister and senior Congress leader Raman Bhalla, PCC District (Jammu Urban) president, Vikram Malhotra and PCC general secretary Manmohan Singh also addressed the media persons informing about the Congress programme during Bharat Bandh at Jammu on Monday.