Sidharth Tanmoy Dash

Bhubaneswar: After Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley declared a cut of Rs 2.50/ltr on petrol and diesel yesterday, members of Odisha BJP today staged protest by burning the effigy of CM Naveen Patnaik and demanded that the state government should reduce taxes on fuel to provide further relief to consumers.

"We demand that the state government should provide an additional relief of Rs 2.50/ltr. Ruling-BJD is just organising fake protests and lacks seriousness in dealing with the grievances of the general public of Odisha," said Odisha BJP vice-president, Samir Mohanty.

After the announcement by Jaitley yesterday, 11 states (BJP-ruled) have reduced VAT on both petrol and diesel so far, while the Odisha government is yet to make any move.

Responding to BJP's charge, BJD spokesperson, Sasmit Patra said "Though the union government has slashed fuel prices, owing to the dynamic pricing mechanism, the difference of Rs 2.50/ltr will become zero after a few days. If the central government wants to bring the fuel prices down permanently, the erstwhile excise duty system of 2014 should be introduced. Has the central government taken any steps to return the Rs 11 lakh crore that it has taken from the people of Odisha and the nation?"

Meanwhile, leader of Opposition, Narasingha Mishra said "The international fuel prices are low and what benefit the centre has given by increasing the prices by Rs 30 and later slashing it by Rs 5?"