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Bharat Bandh: Congress Says TMC ‘Contradicting Itself’ With VAT on Petrol, Diesel

State Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said the steep excise duty imposed by the Centre on petrol and diesel was an "economic disaster" that had made the lives of common people miserable.

PTI

Updated:September 10, 2018, 7:27 AM IST
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Bharat Bandh: Congress Says TMC ‘Contradicting Itself’ With VAT on Petrol, Diesel
File photo of West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee.
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Kolkata:The West Bengal Congress on Saturday termed the ruling TMC's stand on the September 10 bandh "self-contradictory" and blamed it for compounding the problem of rising fuel prices by imposing VAT on petrol and diesel.

State Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said the steep excise duty imposed by the Centre on petrol and diesel was an "economic disaster" that had made the lives of common people miserable.

On top of that, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) government has further compounded the problem by imposing VAT on fuel, he said.

"Our appeal to the TMC is to waive off VAT on petrol and diesel which will help in bringing down fuel prices a bit just like Puducherry and Kerala," he told reporters.

Asked about the state government's circular asking its employees not to abstain from duty on Monday-- the day of the nationwide shutdown-- Chowdhury said, "This shows their self-contradictory stance."

"While they want to ensure the Congress-sponsored Bharat Bandh does not meet with success in West Bengal, they are organising protests against fuel prices hike on that date since they have to publicly protest against the draconian policies of the BJP government at Centre," he said.

However, Chowdhury added that being an independent party, TMC can decide what stance it will adopt (on the issue).

The TMC had on Friday said that it backed the issues that led to the Opposition parties to call for the shutdown like rising prices of essential commodities, but ruled out its participation.

Along with the TMC, the All India Forward Bloc (AIFB), a constituent of the Left Front too decided to stay away accusing major partner CPI(M)'s central leadership of not consulting it before taking the call.

However, Chowdhury alleged that the AIFB maybe working under the influence of West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee.

"They may be working under the influence of Mamata Banerjee," he said.

The WBPCC chief appealed to the people of West Bengal to make the six-hour (from 9 AM to 3 PM) shutdown called by the party successful and register their protests against the 'unprecedented' fuel prices hike.

The Congress' state unit President said his party will not follow any disruptive politics on the day of the bandh and will take out small rallies in different areas.
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