'Why only Maharashtra, and not other states?'

By Dharmendra Jore | Mumbai

Maharashtra Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar says he wants fuel to be brought under GST and non-BJP states should also support his demand

Monday's bandh will not pave the way for Congress to New Delhi, feels state finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar. The minister said that Maharashtra was one of the few states that has been writing to the GST Council to bring petrol and diesel under GST regime so that prices go down. He challenged the non-BJP parties that are in power in states to vote for bringing petrol and diesel under GST.

"They don't want to suffer financial losses in the States that are governed by them, but want the BJP-ruled states to reduce the state duties. How is this possible? The cut should apply to all states so that there could be a decision (on compensation thereof)," he said.

Mungantiwar said the UPA government had deregulated retail petrol prices and made it market-linked. "Our government is following the same, and the same time trying to overcome the international crisis (high crude oil pricing) by collaborating with oil-rich countries that may supply us less expensive crude oil," he said.

Honours for Congress
While Congress and its 21 allies, in the protest, walked away with honours for staging the agitation against the Modi government, BJP frenemy Shiv Sena came under fire from the Congress and former minister Narayan Rane.

State Congress president Ashok Chavan said, "All non-BJP parties need to fight for a common cause, but Sena symbolises laachari." Rane said though the Sena criticises the BJP government, it continues to share power. "The Sena is also responsible for inflation and fuel price hike."

'People should be king'
Raj Thackeray whose MNS left its mark on yesterday's bandh, came down heavily on Shiv Sena, who he said was like 'dogs with a lot of fur'.  He said Sena has no political stand of its own and it did not know where to look from because of its dog-like overgrown fur. He said the Sena threatened to quit the BJP government whenever it needed the money.

Taking a shot at PM Modi, he said, "The people should be the king not the traders." Thackeray said it was the need of the hours for all non-BJP parties to unite and remove Modi.

Added burden
Levies that are imposed by the Centre and respective states have added to the base prices of petrol and diesel in India. The GST, which is a common country-wide tax may help reduce the prices, along with other measures that the Centre needs to be taken.

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