In dig at govt, oppn leaders share Vajpayee’s 1973 petrol price hike protest video


PTI, Jul 3, 2021, 7:28 PM IST

In an apparent dig at the Centre over the rising fuel prices, some Opposition leaders on Saturday shared video footage from 1973 in which then Jan Sangh leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee is seen arriving in Parliament on a bullock cart to ”protest an increase of 7 paise in petrol prices”.

Petrol price on Friday crossed the Rs 100-per-litre-mark in Chennai as well as in some places in Punjab and Kerala after fuel prices were hiked yet again.

Petrol is priced at over Rs 99 a litre in Delhi and Kolkata — the only metro cities which haven’t seen the Rs 100 mark yet.

Sharing Vajpayee’s footage from 1973 in which the former prime minister and then Jan Sangh leader is seen reaching the Parliament in a bullock cart, senior Congress leader Tharoor tweeted, ”Rare footage from 1973 of an opposition protest when petrol prices were raised by seven Paise.”

”Atal Bihari Vajpayee arrived in Parliament on a bullock cart (which would not be possible today with the new security restrictions on vehicle entry into the complex!),” he said.

Sharing the same video which he said he received on WhatsApp, Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien tweeted, ”History. Ouch. When petrol prices were increased by a few paisa (7 paisa?) in 1973, Atal Bihari Vajpayee had travelled to #Parliament on a bullock cart in protest.” Aam Aadmi Party Delhi MLA Somnath Bharti said that in 1973, Vajpayee travelled in a bullock cart to Parliament to oppose an increase of 7 paise in petrol prices, and added ”those were the days”.

Petrol price was hiked by 35 paise per litre on Friday but there was no change in diesel rates, according to a price notification of state-owned fuel retailers.

Fuel prices differ from state to state depending on the incidence of local taxes such as value-added tax (VAT) and freight charges.

For this reason, petrol has crossed the Rs 100-a-litre mark in some places in Punjab and all over Kerala. Jalandhar in Punjab has the fuel priced at Rs 100.22 a litre while it costs Rs 101.14 in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.

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