Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a virtual meeting with Chief Ministers of all the states over the rise in fresh infections. But in this very meeting, PM Modi targeted non-BJP ruling states like AP, Telangana, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and a couple more over Value Added Tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel.

To provide relief to people from high fuel prices, we reduced the excise tax by Rs 10 last November. We requested the states to do the same and Modi lamented that a few states ignored his words. Saying that he is not criticising anyone, the Prime Minister took indirect potshots at non-BJP ruling states.

Further PM Modi urged the states to rethink on VAT and bring down the prices of petrol and diesel and relieve the commuters. He even tried to lecture states on cooperative federalism and asked for states’ collective support in controlling the fuel prices.

But just when PM Modi was in thoughts to blame the states on fuel prices, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee intervened and questioned “Is this the right dais to discuss the hike?” Alerted by Didi’s reverse attack, Modi diverted the topic and talked about the current Covid-19 situation in the country.

This seems to be a pre-planned strategy of PM Narendra Modi to corner states with fuel prices touching all time high in the country. But nowhere Modi talked about CESS and other taxes on fuel prices. Currently the GoI is taking 68 percent of revenues from petrol and diesel prices and this share is far higher than 2014.

Telangana CM KCR skipped this virtual meeting as he was occupied with TRS Plenary meeting.