Congress leader Rahul Gandhi hit out at the BJP government in Centre for high fuel prices in Goa on Saturday (October 30) as he kick-started his campaign for the upcoming state elections next year with a day-long tour of the tiny state.
Gandhi made a dramatic entry at Panji’s Azad maidan, riding on the pillion of a ‘pilot’ – a traditional motorcycle taxi in Goa. He laid wreaths at the Martyrs column in Azad maidan and left to meet the fishermen community in Velsao, a nearby village.
On how he plans to take on the BJP in the upcoming elections, Gandhi said his objective is “to become the voice of the people of Goa” and protect their interests. He said the party wants to emphasise on the message of “listening to the people and addressing their concerns”. Gandhi said Congress’ poll manifesto will be “open and transparent” and will be decided after speaking with different stakeholders in the state, with special focus on environmental protection.
“During the UPA government, international fuel prices reached $140 per barrel. Today, fuel prices are much lower in the international market but still, you pay more. Today India is taxing fuel at the highest rate in the world,” Gandhi said. At around 54 percent, India’s tax on fuel is among the highest in the world, he said.
Fuel prices in India have seen an almost continuous hike in prices recently, and the opposition parties have been quick to criticize the BJP-led government for it.
Also read: Common man pays more tax than corporates, but Centre plays ‘oil bonds’ card
Consumer fuel prices continued to surge to record high levels on Friday, for the third straight day.
The price of petrol has gone higher than the price of aviation turbine fuels (jet fuels) by 37.52 percent.
Gandhi claimed that the Congress party has delivered on what they promised in their manifestoes while asking for people’s votes.
“We fought elections in Chhattisgarh and promised to waive the loan of farmers and we did it. You can go and confirm it in Punjab and Karnataka as well. Whatever goes in our manifesto is a guarantee, not only a promise,” Gandhi said.
The Congress leader also alleged that while the BJP “indulges in hatred and divides people”, the Congress “spreads love and affection”, as it believes in uniting people and taking them forward.
“I want to make very clear what the difference between the BJP and the Congress is. The Congress believes in uniting India’s people and taking them forward. For us, every single Indian has the right to be given the space that he requires,” Gandhi said, addressing the gathering.
(With inputs from Agencies)