The sudden, steep and dramatic increase on Wednesday by ₹150 in the price of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinder, said to be in alignment with international prices, has come to the consumers as a rude surprise .
The price of the LPG rose for the sixth time since September last year. This time the LPG pricer hike has been steeper in metropolitan cities. In Delhi, it rose by ₹144.5 from ₹714 to ₹858.50 for a 14.2kg non-subsidized LPG cylinder compared to the January 1 prices. Similarly, in Kolkata, the prices went up by ₹149 to ₹896 and the price in Mumbai rose by ₹145 to ₹829.50 and by ₹147 to ₹881 in Chennai.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted a file picture of BJP minister Smriti Irani on the street protesting against hike in LPG prices and dead panned: “I agree with these members of the BJP as they protest the astronomical 150 Rs price hike in LPG cylinders.”
BJP, then in the opposition, would hit the streets every time there was a price-hike and Smriti Irani would often lead such protests against a rise of seven Rupees in 2013 and of Rupees 50 in 2011. This time she has been quiet and, not surprisingly, has not reacted to either food inflation or to the steep hike in LPG prices.
The All India Mahila Congress (AIMC) leaders also staged a protest against LPG price hike outside the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry office in Delhi on Thursday. The INC spokesperson Sushmita Dev and the Congress leader Alka Lamba led a rally with other members against the rise in prices of non-subsidised 14 kg Indane gas in metros which came into effect on Wednesday.
The pictures and tweets of Smriti Irani protesting against the LPG price hike had gone viral then and those very pictures are going viral again now.
With a steep rise in the price, the subsidy for Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) beneficiaries has increased from ₹174.86 to ₹312.48 per cylinder and the subsidies of 14.2-kg cylinders would cost ₹567.02 for domestic users and ₹546.02 under the PMUY scheme.
The Modi government gave no relief in the price of the gas cylinders even after six years as in January 2014 when it came to power at the Centre in May, 2014, the price of a 14 KG LPG cylinder was ₹928.
This steep price hike has taken the citizens by shock and several of them took to Twitter to vent their frustration. And many said they missed the outrageous and outspoken BJP leader Smriti Irani . .
“50 rupee hike in LPG!!!!! N they call themselves Aam Aadmi ki Sarkar.”, she had tweeted in 2011.
Another user tweeted,
“Ma'am go for it once again. We all need you. LPG price hiked by Rs. 144.5.”
Here are some of the tweets in which the netizens have posted Smriti Irani’s photos and criticised the sharp increase in prices under the current government