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Congress accuses PM of 'electrocuting' common man's budget, demands rollback of LPG price hike

Congress accuses PM of electrocuting common mans budget, demands rollback of LPG price hike

New Delhi: The Congress on Wednesday accused the Modi government of "electrocuting" the budget of the common man by raising the price of LPG cylinders by Rs 144 and demanded its immediate rollback.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said with an average of 12 cylinder refills by each of the 25.21 crore consumers in this country, the common people will have to shell out Rs 43,562 crore annually with this hike.

"The Modi government has today electrocuted the budget of the common man. Modi government has today attacked the budget of India's women. The Modi government with one stroke of the pen has increased the price of gas cylinder by Rs 144, taking the price of non-subsidised gas cylinder to Rs 858.50," he told reporters.

"We demand on behalf of the Indian National Congress that as the price of the international crude oil has fallen, why should there be such surreptitious and uncalled for increase in the price of gas cylinder. This increase in the price of gas cylinder should immediately be rolled back," the Congress leader said.

"Modiji, we demand on behalf of 125 crore people of India, on behalf of India's women and every person who have to run a household," he said. Surjewala reminded Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he had come to power on May 16, 2014 with the promise of almost zero inflation. He added that a non-subsidised gas cylinder price was only Rs 414 then, while it is now Rs 858.50 now, an increase of over 100 per cent in less than 5.5 years.

If one uses 12 cylinders in a year, then based on the current increase of Rs 144, the additional outflow from every woman's and every person's budget will be Rs 5,334, he claimed.

A subsidised cylinder on May 16, 2014 was only Rs 414, it is Rs 567 currently an increase of Rs 151 per cylinder and if one uses 12 cylinders, then this price has gone up by close to Rs 2,000, Surjewala said.

"If you calculate, there are 25.21 crore consumers in this country and if they consume only 12 cylinders, then the hike of Rs 144 per cylinder would lead to an outflow of Rs 43,562 crore annually. Modiji, you have pocketed today with one stroke of pen from the pockets of the common man Rs 43,562 crore. Who is accountable for it," he asked.

"You did not put it in the budget, but, you surreptitiously through backdoor today have increased quietly the rate of the gas cylinder. Not only this, in the Budget 2020-21, food subsidy has been slashed by Rs 68,650 crore," Surjewala said.

He also asked the prime minister and the BJP to recall that in 2014 when the Congress demitted power, the price of onion was Rs 17 per kg and it is Rs 74 per kg today. "The price of tomato was Rs 16 per kg, it is Rs 35 per kg today, the price of potatoes in 2014 was Rs 15 per kg, it is Rs 28 per kg today. Cooking oil is Rs 135 a litre and people cannot even now dream of having 'lehsun' and 'jeera' in their food as it is beyond their means," Surjewala said.

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