Immediately after the Karnataka Assembly elections, Congress President Rahul Gandhi attacked the Modi government for raising fuel prices. As usual, Rahul Gandhi demonstrated lack of general awareness and utter ignorance of basic economics.
Karnataka finishes voting, FUEL prices rise to a 4 yr. high!
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) May 14, 2018
Rahul Gandhi did not stop here. When PM Modi accepted Virat Kohli’s fitness challenge, Rahul Gandhi challenged him to reduce the fuel price otherwise the Congress party would organize nationwide protest.
Glad to see you accept the @imVkohli fitness challenge. Here’s one from me:
Reduce Fuel prices or the Congress will do a nationwide agitation and force you to do so.
I look forward to your response.#FuelChallenge
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) May 24, 2018
Fuel pieces have marginally declined since then. But today in his maiden budget, Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy has proposed to increase the rate of tax on petrol from 30% to 32% and on diesel from 19% to 21% in the Budget. As a result, both petrol and diesel have become more expensive. Petrol price will be increased by Rs.1.14/ltr and diesel by Rs 1.12/ltr.
I propose to increase the rate of tax on petrol from the present 30% to 32% and diesel from 19% to 21%, so petrol price will be increased by Rs.1.14/ltr and diesel by Rs 1.12/ltr: Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy while presenting the budget pic.twitter.com/9VqBhtEkGU
— ANI (@ANI) July 5, 2018
Now, Rahul Gandhi should take up his own fuel challenge and work towards reducing fuel taxes in Karnataka by 32% and 21% on petrol and diesel respectively. He should organize a press conference and tear down the budget papers proposing increase in fuel prices into pieces. He should launch a nationwide agitation against his own coalition partner.
He must be seething with anger at the hike of fuel prices in Karnataka. How dare alliance partner of his party raise the price of petrol and diesel? Since this issue is very close to his heart, he is very passionate about it. Now, the question is, will the Congress break its alliance with the JDS in protest of hike in fuel prices? They should take back their support from the JDS and set precedence that the Congress party does not care for power. It stands for its words and common people. He should consider this option, as this hike would be a serious burden on the common people of Karnataka.
If they don’t walk out of the alliance right away, it can only mean one of two things. Either Rahul Gandhi has suddenly understood the economics involved behind the prices of fuel and the various factors which prompt any government to raise fuel prices or, he will let the people be burdened under the high fuel prices and cling on to power.
The maiden budget of JDS-Congress attracted criticism for many other reasons also. Most of the projects announced by Kumaraswamy in the budget are mainly for Bengaluru, Hassan, Kankapura and Ramnagara. Only four out of 28 districts have been covered which gave him seats.
Is Kumaraswamy presenting #karnatakabudget or Bengaluru ,Hassan, Kankapura & Ramnagara budget. All project is for 4 out of 28 district which gave him seat. Mangaluru & Coastal districts are completely ignored ..
— Shobha Karandlaje (@ShobhaBJP) July 5, 2018
This sort of favouritism is highly condemnable. He is the CM of an entire state and not of just four districts. The BJP attacked it by saying that it was Hassan-Holenarasipura budget. Kumaraswamy also announced 34,000 farm loan waiver scheme. He said, “I have decided to limit the loan amount to Rs 2 lakhs. Due to this crop loan waiver scheme, farmers will get the benefit of Rs 34,000 crore.”
Overall, his budget does not provide any relief to working class. He doled out goodies to districts which are strongholds of JDS-Congress. A BJP leader told to the News minute, “All the new schemes have been announced in areas where the JDS and Congress have won. All major investment has been allocated to ministries held by JDS leaders. They are trying to milk as much money as they can from this budget.”