BHOPAL: The skyrocketing prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas may put the BJP in hot water in the ensuing civic polls. The dates for the civic polls will be declared next month. The elections may be held in the beginning of April. The BJP, which is pulling out all the stops to win the civic polls, may face difficulty, because the prices of essential commodities are going through the roof.
The price of petrol is more than Rs 100 a litre. Similarly, the price of diesel is shooting up daily. Besides, the cost of cooking gas has been raised by Rs 50 a cylinder. The rise in the prices of these three items has spawned resentment among middle-class families.
As the BJP is ruling at the Centre, as well as in the state, the party may have to face the people’s anger. The Congress is sparing no efforts to make the skyrocketing prices of essential items an issue in the coming civic polls. The party began the process by organsing a half-day, statewide bandh against the price rise.
When the Congress lost power in the state, it was thought that the party’s position had weakened and the party might find it difficult to perform well in the civic polls. But the price rise seems to have infused new life into the Congress in the past one month.
Women are a major vote bank of the BJP, but the rising price of cooking gas has caused anger among them, too. The BJP leaders have understood this, too. So, the party is trying to give some relief in diesel and petrol prices in the Budget. The party’s state leaders are discussing the issue with their central counterparts.
The BJP’s state secretary, Rajneesh Agarwal, said fuel prices had shot up because of the rise in prices of crude oil in the international market. The prices would soon decline, he said, adding that the BJP planned to fight the civic polls on the grounds of its achievements and was set to win them.
Vice-president of the Congress’s media panel Bhupendra Gupta said the abnormal hike in fuel prices would impact urban voters. Because of the rising prices of essential items, government employees, traders and students were suffering a lot, Gupta said. According to Gupta, the skyrocketing prices of cooking gas have upset household budgets and women were facing problems. This was bound to impact the civic polls, he said.