Chandigarh – The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Monday asked Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Sunil Jakhar to stop sham protests on the issue of lowering taxes on petrol and diesel and instead put pressure on the Congress government to slash VAT on these petroleum products to give an instantaneous relief of Rs 20 per litre to the common man. Talking about the orchestrated protests by Jakhar, Majithia said: “It is incumbent on the PPCC president Sunil Jakhar to tell Punjabis why he was indulging in deceitful behaviour.”“You want the Centre to reduce excise on petrol and diesel which it is already examining but refuse to put pressure on your own government to reduce state tax on both these products which is the highest in north India and the third highest in the country. You know that the State government is charging more than Rs 20 tax on petrol and diesel. This can be done away with by one stroke of the pen and it was expected that you would put down your foot and procure this relief for the common man. However instead of walking the talk and giving instant relief you are misleading the people,” he added.The SAD leader said Jakhar should tell Punjabis why he had “accepted” the contention of Punjab finance minister Manpreet Badal that the latter would not reduce VAT on petrol and diesel by even one paisa. “Jakhar had earlier announced that the Congress government would reduce VAT on petrol and diesel on the pattern of the relief given by Kerala. However after Manpreet Badal refused to reduce petrol and diesel prices he has started indulging in meaningless protests to gain cheap publicity instead of taking on the finance minister and asking why no relief is being extended to the common man. Punjabis are feeling cheated by these double faced actions”, Majithia added.Speaking about the Congress government’s draconian decision to delay paddy transplantation to June 20 without consulting farmers, the SAD leader said that such decisions were symptomatic of Congress rule.
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