Fuel prices: War of words between BJP, Oppn parties on Bollywood’s silence

Compared to the 2014 prices under the UPA regime, the petrol and diesel prices have gone up by 13 per cent and 28 per cent respectively.

Hyderabad: Petrol and diesel prices in India rose for the eleventh consecutive day on Saturday, leading the fuel to be costlier than ever. Fuel rates are on an upward spiral, hitting record highs across metros, while they have already crossed the Rs 100 mark in some cities.

While the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the large majority of people supporting it remain strangely silent about the fuel prices hike, opposition parties including Congress and Shiv Shena are coming down heavily on the government for its non-intervention. All this and even Bollywood is dragged into the row, for its political inclination.

Congress, Shiv Sena take on Bollywood’s silence

It all started when Maharastra Congress president Nana Patole posted a video on Twitter, questioning the silence of Bollywood celebrities like Akshay Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan over the rise in fuel prices. 

In the video, Patole was seen lashing  out at the Bollywood actors for their pro-Modi stand. He threatened to halt their movies’ screening and shootings in the state if they don’t raise voice against the  ever-increasing fuel prices. He further said that both Amitabh Bacchan and Akshay Kumar were famous for their tweets against the increase in  fuel prices  during the UPA regime, but are now tight-lipped even when the prices are continuously reaching higher day by day.

Supporting the tweet and Patole’s statement, Congress’ ally Shiv Sena’s member of parliament Arvind Savant said that there was nothing wrong in Patole’s tweets  and went on to add that their movies will not be watched as they are not speaking up for the people who watch their movies by buying tickets.

BJP’s response

A day later on February  19, BJP legislator Ram Kadam tweeted that the Congress leaders are threatening acclaimed actors in broad daylight. “Is it a crime of a respectable celebrity to stand for the welfare of the entire nation? What’s wrong with Congress? They should remember that every citizen stands with the one who stands with the nation as a whole.”

Former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis  dubbed  Patole’s statements as  a ‘publicity stunt’  saying that he is newly elected  president and questioned  ‘This is a democracy with the law in place. How can you stop anyone from shooting?’

Besides,  BJP  has condemned Patole’s statement and has asked Maharastra home minister  Anil Deshmukh to lodge a complaint against Nana Patole.

Such a  statement from Nana Patole  assumes significance as  he was with BJP till 2018. Today, the highest  petrol price is at SrigangaNagar in Rajasthan at 100.13 and diesel is at  92.13. 

Before all this controversy between the leaders kickstarted, the Twitterati were embroiled in a discussion over Akshay Kumar and other celebrities like Anupam Kher, Amitabh  Bachchan, who usually voiced their opinion against the increasing fuel prices in earlier regimes. 

Two famous tweets of Akshay Kumar went viral ———- “Clean up bicycles and hit the road as there is expected price rise”.

The other one: “Couldn’t even get to my house in the night for all of the Mumbai were queuing up at petrol pump before the prices rocketed again”.

Compared to the  2014 prices under the UPA regime, the petrol and diesel prices have gone up by 13 per cent and 28 per cent respectively. This has happened despite the fall in international prices many times in between. 

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