Hyderabad: Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President Capt. N. Uttam Kumar Reddy claimed that the ‘Bharat Bandh’ call given by the All India Congress Committee (AICC) against the rising prices of petrol and diesel on Monday was a grand success in Telangana State.
He was addressing a press conference along with AICC Telangana Incharge R.C. Khuntia, AICC Secretaries N.S. Bose Raju, Saleem Ahmed and Madhu Yashki, CLP leader K. Jana Reddy and Leader of Opposition in Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir.
He said that the entire Congress cadre participated in the bandh on Monday although several important leaders were taken into custody by the police since early hours.
Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the prices of petrol and diesel touching an all time high was the biggest failure of Modi Government. However, he said TRS Government headed by Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao was equally responsible for this situation.
He said that the tax on petrol and diesel in Telangana was highest among 23 States in the country. The States include Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Delhi, Goa, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Punjab, Sikkim, Tripura, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
The tax on petrol in Goa was 16.61% and for Diesel it is 18.82%. Similarly, it is 18.89% on petrol and 12.97% on Diesel in Tripura. In the national capital, Delhi, it is 27% on Petrol and 17.28% on Diesel. However, in Telangana, the tax rate is 35.02% on Petrol and 27% on Diesel.
He said that the taxes on petrol in Karnataka were 28.31% compared to Telangana’s 35.2%. For the same reason, he said petrol is cheaper by Rs. 2.60 per litre in Karnataka. Likewise, diesel is cheaper by Rs. 5-6 per litre in Karnataka compared to Telangana.
The TPCC Chief also slammed the Centre for not extending the benefit of reduction in crude oil prices to common man. When the international prices of crude oil was $ 120 per barrel, the petrol and diesel prices were Rs. 68 and Rs. 53 per litre respectively. However, these prices did not come down even after crude oil prices slipped to $ 79 per barrel.
He said that Modi Government has increased the prices of petrol and diesel for 12 times during the last four-and-a-half years. Further, the Excise Duty has been increased from 3.5% in 2014 to 15%.
He said it was due to heavy taxation by BJP and TRS Governments, petrol prices in Telangana have touched Rs. 85 now compared to Rs. 70 in 2014. Similarly, the diesel prices have increased from Rs. 55 in 2014 to Rs. 79 now.
Similarly, Uttam Kumar Reddy said the prices of LPG cylinders have almost doubled from Rs. 414 in 2014 to Rs. 754 now. For the same reason, he said that the Congress party has promised that if voted to power it would provide 6 LPG cylinders in a year at free of cost to BPL families.
He said AICC president Rahul Gandhi has also assured that the Congress party, after coming to power, at the Centre would bring the petrol and diesel under the purview of GST which would automatically reduce their prices.
Once the prices of petrol and diesel are slashed, the prices of essential commodities and other products would also come down, he said.
Uttam Kumar Reddy thanked the entire party cadre, members of Civil Society and other political parties and groups who supported the Bharat Bandh.
The TPCC chief informed that the Congress party would organise “Janda Panduga” (flag festival) in all districts, constituencies, mandal headquarters and villages by hoisting Congress party flag from 11th to 18th September.
Entire Congress cadre would also hoist Congress flags on their houses and vehicles. He also asked the party cadre to review the electoral rolls in their constituencies and file necessary claims and objections.
Uttam Kumar Reddy informed that Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad would visit Telangana on September 12.
Azad will address a press conference on Rafale deal at Gandhi Bhavan and in the same evening, he will address a public meeting of minorities in Sangareddy.
The TPCC chief said that discussions were on for possible alliances with other political parties. However, he did not disclose any specific details on party’s tie-up with TDP, TJS and CPI.