Commuters in the national capital may face severe inconvenience on Monday, October 22, due to the 24-hour strikes called by the Delhi Petrol Dealers Association (DPDA) and the auto-rickshaw and taxi unions.
The DPDA have called a strike to protest against the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi for refusing to reduce the Value Added Tax (VAT) on fuel. At least 400 fuel pumps in the national capital will remain closed.
The auto-rickshaw and taxi unions are also protesting against the Delhi government's new policy on cab aggregators and the Central government's rule on speed regulators.
The Sanyukt Sangharsh Samiti, an auto-taxi union in the city, has called for the strike, reports Hindustan Times.
Kejriwal has claimed that the strike has been sponsored by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
BJP accuses Delhi's AAP government for not reducing VAT on fuel prices
Hitting back at Arvind Kejriwal's tweet which said that the BJP threatened everyone into participating in the strike, the Delhi BJP accused the Delhi government of not reducing the VAT.
The tweet then requested Kejriwal and the members of AAP to stop troubling the residents of Delhi.
पेट्रोल पंप मालिकों ने इसलिए हड़ताल की है,क्योंकि आपने पेट्रोल-डीजल पर वैट कम नहीं किया जिस कारण दिल्ली वालों को सस्ता पेट्रोल-डीजल लेने के लिये पड़ोसी राज्यों में जाना पड़ रहा है,जिससे दिल्ली के पेट्रोल पंप मालिकों को नुकसान हो रहा है।'आप' वाले दिल्ली वालों को तंग करना बंद करें। https://t.co/cxFeGkw5UD— BJP Delhi (@BJP4Delhi) October 22, 2018
Kejriwal demands apology from BJP
Arvind Kejriwal demanded the Bharatiya Janata Party to apologise to the people of Delhi for calling a strike.
In a tweet, he commented on Mumbai not being on strike because it has a BJP government. Kejriwal also pointed out that the petrol cost in Mumbai was higher than that in Delhi.
Oil prices lowest in Delhi amongst the four metros. Why aren’t petrol pumps in Mumbai, which has highest prices, on strike? Becoz Mumbai is BJP govt and BJP is behind today’s strike in Delhi. BJP MUST apologize to the people of Delhi pic.twitter.com/v5BUI0cfRG— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) October 22, 2018
Arvind Kerjriwal questions why petrol was not kept under GST
In a series of two tweets in Hindi, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that the BJP threatened those who do not participate in the strike with income tax raids.
He also questioned why petrol did not come under the Goods and Services Tax (GST). He said, "We demand that petrol diesel be brought into the GST."
The AAP chief said that the BJP went through the oil companies who allegedly threatened the employees with 'strict action' if they did not participate in the strike.
पिछले चार सालों में पेट्रोल पर अनाप शनाप टैक्स मोदी जी ने लगाया है, हमने नहीं लगाया। मोदी जी टैक्स कम करें और जनता को राहत दें। हम माँग करते हैं की पेट्रोल डीज़ल को GST के दायरे में लाया जाए। केंद्र सरकार पेट्रोल डीज़ल को GST में क्यों नहीं ला रही?— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) October 22, 2018
भाजपा ने पेट्रोल वालों को धमकी दी है कि जो आज हड़ताल नहीं करेगा, उस पर इंकम टैक्स की रेड कराई जाएगी— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) October 22, 2018
तेल कंपनियों ने भी धमकी दी है कि जो पेट्रोल पम्प हड़ताल नहीं करेगा, उसके ख़िलाफ़ सख़्त ऐक्शन होगा
भाजपा वाले दिल्ली वालों को तंग करना बंद करें। ये दिन दहाड़े गुंडागर्दी बंद करें
'Kejriwal fully responsible for the mess Delhi is facing today,' BJP hits back at CM's accusations
After Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of starting the strike, the BJP in Delhi tweeted, "It is regrettable that due to the obstinate attitude of Kejriwal Government, today the people of Delhi, have to purchase Petrol-Diesel from the neighbouring states as Petrol-Diesel is more costly in Delhi. Mr. Kejriwal is fully responsible for the mess Delhi is facing today (sic)."
It is regrettable that due to the obstinate attitude of Kejriwal Government, today the people of Delhi, have to purchase Petrol-Diesel from the neighbouring states as Petrol-Diesel is more costly in Delhi. Mr. Kejriwal is fully responsible for the mess Delhi is facing today. pic.twitter.com/ZB68rvAZnz— BJP Delhi (@BJP4Delhi) October 22, 2018
Petrol pumps in Delhi have a deserted look on Monday
After two separate protests have been called in Delhi, fuel pumps in the city have been empty.
Fuel prices for the day in Delhi
There was a slight decrease in fuel prices in Delhi. The cost of petrol is at Rs. 81.44 per litre, a decrease by 30 paise while diesel is at Rs 74.29 per litre after a 27 paise reduction, reports ANI.
Petrol & diesel prices in #Delhi are Rs 81.44 per litre (decrease by Rs 0.30) and Rs 74.92 per litre (decrease by Rs 0.27), respectively. Petrol & diesel prices in #Mumbai are Rs 86.91 per litre (decrease by Rs 0.30) and Rs 78.54 per litre (decrease by Rs 0.28), respectively. pic.twitter.com/2Mt7gAaNAE— ANI (@ANI) October 22, 2018
Protesters plan to block roads to 'get their voice heard'
AITTA chairman Inderjeet Singh said that members of the association as well as supporters of the cause plan on blocking roads, creating awareness on the issue and getting the central government to hear what they have to say.
Many members have also said that they might stage a protest outside the Parliament.
400 petrol pumps to be closed for 24-hours in Delhi
The petrol pumps will be shut from 5 am on Monday to 6 am on Tuesday.
'Chakka Jaam' protest by the auto-taxi union due to 'wrong transport policies by the government'
Inderjeet Singh, the chairman of the All India Tour and Transport Association told NDTV that the union is holding the protest since the government is not hearing their 'grievances'.
Citing 'wrong transport policies by the government', the head of the auto-taxi union said, " Auto-rickshaw and taxi drivers are losing their employment due to wrong transport policies of the government and also due to low fares offered to commuters by cab aggregators."
Dehli CM Arvind Kejriwal accuses BJP of sponsoring the strike
In a tweet, Arvind Kejriwal said that the Bharatiya Janata Party has sponsored the strike and he got this information first hand from petrol pump owners.
Petrol pump owners hv told us privately that this is a BJP sponsored strike, actively supported by oil cos. In fact, BJP has thrust it upon petrol pump owners. People will give BJP a befitting reply in elections for continuously inconveniencing people thro their dirty politics. https://t.co/S8pLZNbIOw— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) October 21, 2018
Strike against fuel prices was called by the DPDA on October 10
Just a few days after the Central government reduced the fuel prices, the Delhi Petrol Dealers' Association called for a strike citing that many residents of the union territory went to neighbouring Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to fill their vehicles with fuel. This decreased the sales in Delhi.
"The price reduction in UP and Haryana has led to a decline in sale of petrol by 20% and diesel by 30% in Delhi till October 15. It is expected to further decline in the coming days," Nischal Singhania the president of the Delhi Petrol Dealers Association was quoted saying by NDTV.