The Trinamool Congress today alleged that the BJP was indulging in “cheap politics” over fuel tax, even as the saffron camp said that it “might be forced to organise protests” if the state government does not slash Value Added Tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel.
The centre recently reduced excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 5 and Rs 10 respectively, and many states, including Assam and Uttar Pradesh, followed suit and cut VAT on the two products.
West Bengal, however, hasn’t made any similar announcement, despite the state unit of the BJP urging the Mamata Banerjee government to take a cue from the centre and provide relief to people.
Trinamool spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said, “The BJP is doing cheap politics over fuel prices as its inertia in stemming the skyrocketing prices of petrol, diesel and LPG has been exposed. It has slashed excise duty on petrol and diesel a bit, fine! But that is too little, too less.”
Stating that the revenue realised from fuel tax by the centre is far more than that of states, Mr Ghosh further suggested that some parity should be maintained.
BJP national vice-president Dilip Ghosh, on his part, contended that “we might be forced to go on protest” if the Mamata Banerjee government did not reduce VAT on fuel.
Sukanta Majumder, the Bengal president of the BJP, also demanded an immediate cut on the tax levied by the state on petrol and diesel.
“Opposition-ruled states like West Bengal and Delhi among others are not doing their bit. Mind it, the Biplab Deb government in Tripura has substantially reduced VAT. The TMC has been levelling multiple allegations against the Tripura government, but it wouldn’t do its part in Bengal,” he added.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)