Congress attacks Assam government over price hike

New Delhi, July 6 (IANS) The Congress on Wednesday attacked the BJP-led government in Assam for hiking fuel prices and VAT on essential items and withdrawing partial subsidy on domestic LPG cylinders.

“Within one month of coming to power, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has increased the prices of petrol and diesel, increased VAT by 1 per cent and has withdrawn partial subsidy on domestic gas cylinders,” Congress leader Ripun Bora told the media here.

“This has affected all sections of people in the state,” he said.

Effective from July 4, sales tax on petrol in Assam was hiked by 73 paise and on diesel by Rs 1.62 while VAT on 127 items has been increased from 5 per cent to 6 per cent.

Partial subsidy of Rs 14 on domestic LPG cylinders has been withdrawn.

“The assembly session is due to start on July 18. Had they taken the assembly into confidence, it would have been a more democratic process,” he said.

The Congress leader said prices of students’ stationery and all medicines have also shot up in Assam.

He said people voted the BJP to power on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promise that Sarbananda Sonowal would bring “sarbananda” (happiness to all).

“Instead, he has become a ‘bipod’ (danger) to the state,” he said.

Bora assumed charge as the Acting President of the Congress in Assam on July 2 following the demise of incumbent Anjan Dutta last month.

He admitted prices went up during UPA rule too. “At that time there were protests by the BJP all over,” he said.

“If there was a rise in petrol price, BJP workers protested by using bullock carts and cycles; if there was a rise in the price of onions, they protested by wearing garlands of onions. Now we want to ask the BJP, where have the protests gone?”

–IANS

ab/mr

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