'Want cheaper petrol? Go to Taliban-ruled Afghanistan,' says BJP leader
A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader has sparked controversy after telling a journalist to "go to Taliban" for being questioned over rising fuel prices. Ramratan Payal, the BJP's President for Katni district in Madhya Pradesh, said fuel is available for Rs. 50/liter in Afghanistan, which the said terror group has taken over. A video of his statement has been widely circulated on social media.
'At least, we have safety here'
Payal made the comments on Wednesday after he participated in a tree-plantation program organized by the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, the BJP's youth wing. "Go to Taliban. Petrol is being sold at Rs. 50 per liter in Afghanistan. Go and refill your petrol there, where nobody is there to buy the fuel. At least here, we have safety," he told the reporter.
'India facing COVID-19 crisis and you're asking about petrol'
Payal also lectured the same journalist about India's COVID-19 management and coronavirus protocols. "The third wave of the coronavirus is about to come...The country is going through such a tough time, and you are asking about petrol prices," he was quoted as saying. The politician, and his supporters seen in the video, neither maintained proper distancing nor wore face masks.
You can watch the video here
Bihar BJP member also gave a similar 'advice'
Moreover, Payal is not the only BJP leader to have advised people to move to Afghanistan. His party colleague and Bihar MLA Haribhushan Thakur said anyone who feels scared in India should go to the war-torn country. "Once there, they will understand the value of India." Petrol prices have touched Rs. 100/liter while diesel rates are reaching Rs. 90/liter in several states across India.
Parties play blame-game amid rising prices
Besides high fuel prices, cooking gas prices have also reached record highs. Leaders of the Congress and other Opposition parties have been criticizing the central government over the issue of inflation. They also held protests in the Parliament's Monsoon Session over the matter. The BJP, on the other hand, has blamed the oil bonds issued during the Congress rule behind soaring fuel rates.