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Kolkata: The Trinamool Congress on Wednesday said that unable to control the spiralling fuel prices, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was pinning the blame on opposition-ruled states.

TMC said the Centre should clear the pending GST dues, and stop the “step-motherly treatment” of the opposition-ruled states.

“Be it the COVID-19 pandemic or some other crisis, we have seen that whenever the Centre has failed to handle a situation, it puts the blame on the opposition-ruled states,” TMC MP Sougata Roy said.

“Now, as the Centre has failed to control the fuel prices, the prime minister is blaming the states. He is trying to blame others to evade the responsibility for the economic mismanagement,” he said.

Speaking at an interaction with the chief ministers, Modi said some states such as West Bengal, Maharashtra and Kerala did not reduce VAT on petrol and diesel despite the excise duty cut by the Centre last November and had done “injustice” to the people by not transferring the benefits of the move to them.

Hitting back, the TMC said the Centre’s decision to cut “some” excise duty on fuel was too little too late.

“The prime minister should not have used the interaction with the chief ministers on the COVID situation to serve the BJP’s political interests. We condemn such an attempt,” Roy said.

The BJP said the TMC government in West Bengal should first answer why it was not reducing taxes on fuel.

“If you compare the petrol prices between the opposition-ruled states such as West Bengal with the BJP-ruled states, the difference is nearly Rs 15-20 per litre,” BJP national vice-president Dilip Ghosh said.

“If TMC is so pro-poor, why can’t our chief minister emulate states such as Assam and UP and cut VAT on fuel? She should take a cue from the Centre and provide relief to the people. But, she won’t as the money accrued from such taxes are spent in organising fairs and giving donations to clubs,” he said.

West Bengal imposes 25 per cent VAT on petrol and 17 per cent on diesel.

Also read: LIC sets price band at Rs 902-949 per share for Rs 21,000 cr IPO

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