Jagan Mohan Reddy Government is under severe pressure to decrease fuel prices after the Center and many states have cut down the taxes. The state government which is already under severe financial stress could not afford to cut down the rates owing to the funds required for the freebies.
The fuel prices in Andhra Pradesh are the second-highest in the country. At this juncture, the Government under pressure has come up with a crazy idea. They have given full-page advertisements in all the Newspapers justifying the high prices. And it is a surprise that Jagan tried to shift all blame on Modi Government.
This is the first all-out attack of the Jagan Government on the Narendra Modi Government. After being cautious with the Center in the wake of pending cases on the Chief Minister, Jagan has committed a mistake under pressure and may have to pay a hefty political price for it.
Coming to the ad, it is an intelligent way to misrepresent facts and to tell only half-truths. There is a table which shows the income the Central Government gets and how only a paltry 5.8% is given as a share to the state out of that. There is no information about the income the state government gets through taxes on Petrol.
The final portion of the advert is all about how Jagan Government has only increased the One Rupee on Petrol and Diesel. That too because the previous government has neglected roads and Jagan Government is spending 2,205 Crores to repair them. But then, the less we talk about roads in AP today the better, everyone knows. If this government says it is spending 1000s of Crores to repair them, people are less likely to buy the idea.
After seeing this ad live, numerous old videos of Jagan are doing rounds on social media. Jagan is claiming the Taxes during Chandrababu’s regime are ridiculous. Not even a paisa has been reduced after coming to power. Moreover, a rupee has been added to the already ridiculous tax.
The Fuel Prices also have a cess for Amaravati development imposed by Chandrababu Government. This Government has stalled Amaravati but continues to collect the cess. There is a Percentage component in the state taxes on fuel (31% on Petrol and 22.5% on Diesel). They will rise whenever the prices increase filling Government coffers. Jagan’s ad does not speak about it intelligently.
It is clear Jagan Mohan Reddy Government is trying to be smart here but then, the fact is that the state government is an equal culprit in this fiasco along with the Central Government. Keeping everything aside, people will not buy this numbers game. They will only remember the fact that Jagan Government did not cut a single paisa on fuel prices. Except for irking the BJP, this ad serves no purpose.
In contrast, Jagan should have simply said the prices can not be lowered since he needs lots of funds to give money to the people. At least the beneficiaries would have bought it. Or he should have stayed mum just like the neighboring Chief Minister, KCR.