The CPI(ML) burnt the effigy of the Modi government on 17 September 2017 at Lalkuan in Uttarakhand to protest against spiraling petrol and diesel prices. Addressing the meeting, Party District Secretary Kailash Pandey said that the previous UPA government had abdicated its responsibility by giving the right to determine petrol prices in the hands of private companies; the BJP, then in the Opposition, roundly criticized the resultant increase in petrol prices. But today the BJP, promising ‘Good Days’, is in government and the prices of petrol and diesel are skyrocketing despite there being a huge drop in international oil prices. The crowning shame is that central Ministers are saying that those who buy petrol and diesel are not starving to death.
Com. Kailash Pandey further said that GST, touted as a reform to bring down prices, has actually raised prices even higher. If essential goods were to be made cheaper, GST should have been implemented on petroleum products; but the Modi government did not do this as they want to benefit oil companies. The maximum rate of GST is 28% whereas the tax on petroleum products is more than 50%. The price of petrol in neighbouring countries is Rs 40 to 50 while in India the government earns huge amounts from petroleum products but is putting budget cuts on citizens’ facilities.
CPI(ML) leader Bahadur Singh Jangi said that the Modi government should be ashamed of implementing all the UPA schemes which they had criticized and opposed: FDI, note ban, Aadhar, privatization, GST. This is proof that there is not much difference between the policies of the BJP and the Congress and that Left policies are what this country needs.