BJP attacks on Mamata on on VAT on fuel

Kolkata : The BJP targeted TMC on Monday for not slashing the Value Added Tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel. The BJP threatened that it would force chief minister Mamata Banerjee to reduce VAT on fuel prices.

Earlier the BJP had announced that they will take out rallies for five days from Monday to Friday demanding the reduction in VAT on fuel. On Monday BJP Leaders contended with the police in Kolkata after the leaders were stopped at rally. Several BJP workers and leaders were detained during the clashes.

“We’ll force chief minister Banerjee to reduce the VAT. Police might try to stop us but we’ll fight them,” state BJP chief Sukanta Majumdar said, adding that the TMC government stopped the BJP rally because they were “afraid.”

The leader of opposition in Bengal Suvendu Adhikari said that the rallies will take place at any cost.

Pointing out that the TMC’s double standards have been exposed, Adhikari, a former protege of Mamata Banerjee told PTI, “Not just the Centre, several other states have slashed taxes to bring down the fuel prices, but the TMC government which pretends to be pro-people is yet to do the same.”

BJP leader Dilip Ghosh also hit out at the TMC by saying that the latter was most worried about the surge in fuel prices, but now it did not even issue any response in this regard. “Reduce the VAT if you (TMC) are so concerned about people’s problems,” Ghosh said.

On the eve of Diwali, the Centre announced a reduction in central levies on petrol by ₹5 a litre and diesel by ₹10 a litre, which was seen as a major relief for consumers amid the spike in fuel prices. Till now, over 20 states and Union territories have undertaken a commensurate reduction of VAT.

Several Opposition ruled states have yet not deducted the price on fuels. They haven’t reduced the VAT tax.

In Bengal, the ruling TMC accused the Centre of indulging in cheap politics over fuel tax as its inertia in stemming the skyrocketing prices of petrol, diesel and LPG had been exposed. TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said on Saturday that the cut in VAT was too little, too less.

Maintaining that the revenue realised from fuel tax by the Centre is far more than that of states, Ghosh further suggested that some parity should be maintained.

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