West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday rode pillion on an electric scooter as a mark of protest against the rising fuel prices, reported the Hindustan Times.
Wearing a helmet, Banerjee hung a placard around her neck against the increase in fuel prices, and travelled from Kolkata’s Hazra neighbourhood to the state Secretariat, Nabanna, in Howrah. Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim drove the electric scooter as Banerjee sat on the back.
After reaching the state Secretariat, she criticised the Centre about the rising fuel rates, reported PTI. “We are protesting against the fuel price hike,” she said. “The [Narendra] Modi government only makes false promises. They have done nothing to bring down fuel prices.”
She called the Narendra Modi government “anti people”, and alleged that the prime minister and Union Home Minister Amit Shah were selling the country.
The chief minister also criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government for renaming the Sardar Patel Stadium, popularly known as the Motera stadium, in Ahmedabad as the Narendra Modi Stadium.
The price of petrol has risen to Rs 91.12 per litre in Bengal, while diesel cost Rs 84.20 per litre, according to The Indian Express. The prices for petrol and diesel remained stable on Thursday for the second consecutive day. The last increase in the prices was done on Tuesday.
However, the price of liquified petroleum gas, or LPG, cylinders was raised by Rs 25 earlier on Thursday. In Bengal, the price of LPG cylinders rose from Rs 795 a day ago to Rs 820.
The West Bengal government had on Sunday reduced the taxes on petrol and diesel by Re 1. State Finance Minister Amit Mitra had said the move would provide some respite to people affected by the rapidly-increasing prices of fuel. The reduction in taxes would remain effective till June 30.
Opposition parties have blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government for the exorbitant fuel prices, accusing it of raising taxes to scoop out the benefit reaped from international oil rates plunging to a two-decade low in April and May.
While global rates have rebounded with a pick up in demand, the government has not restored the taxes, which are at a record high.