Rahul Gandhi’s ‘fuel challenge’ for PM Modi: Cut petrol price or face agitation


New Delhi, May 24: Hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi received, and accepted, the fitness challenge extended to him by cricketer Virat Kohli, he received another one. This time it was a ‘fuel challenge’.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi dared the prime minister to accept a “fuel challenge”, asking him to reduce the spiralling fuel prices or face a nationwide stir by his party.
Fuel prices across metros increased by another 30 paise on Thursday, in their 11th day of rise since May 14, as dealers continued to pass on the burden of increasing crude oil prices to customers in a staggered manner.
Petrol prices in Mumbai breached the Rs 85 a litre mark on Thursday and was sold at Rs 85.29 per litre. In Delhi, prices reached Rs 77.47 per litre, Rs 80.42 in Chennai, and Rs 80.12 in Kolkata, according to Indian Oil Corp.
Congress communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala also took a dig at Modi for remaining “silent” on the rising fuel prices, and posed a ‘challenge’ to him to utilise the Rs 10 lakh crore “looted” through central excise on petrol and diesel, for helping reduce the fuel prices and restore the “economic fitness” of the common man.
“Modiji is ‘Maun’ as fuel prices increase for 11th day in a row. His Union Minister threatens – if fuel prices fall, so will welfare spending. Will PM Modi accept the Nation’s challenge to utilise the 10 lakh crore looted through central excise in 4 years to reduce fuel prices?
“Dear PM, Please accept the #FitnessChallenge to Restore the economic fitness of common man by reducing the runaway prices of Petrol/Diesel as you fleeced Rs 10 lakh crore in 4 years by raising excise 11 times,” he said in a series of tweets.
“Also, restore the ‘job fitness’ of young by giving 2 crore jobs as promised,” he said.
Surjewala also challenged the prime minister to grant remunerative prices to farmers for their produce and bring back the Rs 80 lakh crore black money stashed abroad.
He also dared him to a “national security fitness” by stopping Pakistan-sponsored terrorism and Chinese incursion in Dokalam, and accept the “governance challenge”.
“Dear PM, Pl accept the #FitnessChallenge to Grant ‘MSP Fitness’ of Cost+50% Profit to India’s farmers as you promised…’Anti Corruption fitness’ by bringing back Rs 80 lakh crore of black money from abroad as you promised and punishing the corrupt in your government for various scams,” Surjewala said.
The Congress leader added that “nation must come first” and asked the prime minister to forego “media stunts” and accept the “governance challenge”.
Earlier in the day, Modi accepted the fitness challenge extended to him by Indian cricket team skipper Virat Kohli. In a tweet, PM Modi wrote that he will soon upload his fitness video. “Challenge accepted, Virat! I will be sharing my own #FitnessChallenge video soon,” the PM wrote on Twitter, in reply to Kohli’s challenge.
Modi’s response came a day after Kohli shared a fitness video of himself and extended the challenge to PM Modi.
(HT with PTI inputs)