Maharashtra’s ruling ally Shiv Sena on Monday launched a sharp attack on the BJP for the runaway inflation and zooming fuel prices and said “Achhe Din” were being “murdered” daily by the government.
The party also took to task new union minister K.J. Alphons — who said recently that “those who can afford high prices of petrol and diesel are not starving” — for making “such highly irresponsible utterances.”
“This Navratna (Jewel) in the cabinet is justifying the steep high prices of fuel because he has never paid for it from his pocket. This is like spitting on the face of the poor who were not humiliated to such an extent even during the Congress rule,” the Sena said.
In strong editorials in the party mouthpieces ‘Saamana’ and ‘Dopahar Ka Saamana’, the Shiv Sena said it was shocking that Alphons even justified how nobody was dying because of the spiralling fuel prices.
“Listen to him! This bureaucrat-turned-minister with no political experience is probably full of the ‘merit’ that the BJP President Amit Shah said the Congress is lacking,” the Sena said.
“Have they forgotten, how – when there was a fuel hike during UPA, all top BJP leaders like Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Smiri Irani and Dharmendra Pradhan – jammed the streets protesting with empty gas cylinders?” the Sena asked.
However, now when they have come to power, the poor were being mocked and ridiculed by persons like Alphons who were advocating inflation – and “all this is truly distressing”, the edit said.
“A major reason behind the thousands of farmers’ deaths in Maharashtra and elsewhere in the country is due to steep hike in fuel prices. There is the regular ‘shock of load-shedding’, so they have to depend on diesel-run generators for agriculture. Then, they are required to shell out higher prices for transportation of their farm produce to the distant markets.
“Many farmers simply can’t afford to pay all these high costs and hence resort to committing suicide,” the edit said.
The Sena pointed out that the masses were suffering because of the hike in petrol, diesel and gas prices. “‘Achhe Din’ are being killed daily,” it said.
“People have no food to eat, farmers continue to be in crises, inflation and unemployment are adding to peoples’ woes. When questioned about all these, a livid Maharashtra BJP legislator Pasha Patel abused and threatened a journalist last week and said he (the journalist) requires mental treatment,” the Sena said.
It said that from the billions of rupees to be spent on the Bullet Train project, if Rs 30,000-40,000 crore was diverted to tackle inflation, it would be serve everyone better.
“Patel called the journalist ‘mad and needing mental treatment’. Actually, it is those people who are praising the Bullet Train who are lunatics and deserve to be packed off to mental hospitals,” the Sena said.