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Congress alleges PM has 'plans to hike fuel prices by Rs 5-10 on May 23'


New Delhi, Apr 23: The Congress on Tuesday hit out at the government over the US decision of not renewing its waiver that let countries like India buy Iranian oil without facing sanctions, saying it is a "diplomatic and economic failure" of the Modi dispensation.

File photo of Randeep Surjewala

The opposition party also alleged that Prime Minister Modi has directed oil companies not to increase the prices of petrol and diesel till May 23 so that he can "garner votes".

The Trump administration Monday decided not to renew the waiver that let countries import Iranian oil without facing US sanctions.

"Crude oil prices are touching the sky -- highest in six months. The Rupee has tumbled to the ground, USD 1=Rs 69.61. The US has put sanctions on import of crude oil from Iran," Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said.

India had bought 230 lakh tonne crude oil from Iran in 2018. It is easy for India to import oil from Iran because it pays in rupees instead of US dollars, he said in a series of tweets.

India prepared to deal with US decision to end Iran oil waivers: MEA

"We also have a 60-day credit period and free shipping facility. This, the Congress had done. The Prime Minister is a sitting like a mute spectator over the country's oil needs and security. Why?" Surjewala asked.

He also asked whether the American curbs on importing oil from Iran were an attack on India's sovereignty.

"Why is Modi ji, who keeps boasting about his bravery everyday, silent? Modi ji is not telling the country that in order to dupe people and garner votes, he has directed oil companies not to increase the prices till May 23," the Congress spokesperson alleged.

"There is preparation to increase the prices of petrol-diesel by Rs 5-10 on the evening of May 23. But the country will not be duped by this," he said.

The Congress-led government had invested billions of dollars in Iran's Chabahar port to ensure that India is connected to Afghanistan and central Asia, bypassing Pakistan, Surjewala said.

The American curbs will affect the Chabahar port and national security will be compromised, he claimed. "The curbs on Iran have adversely impacted India's strategic sea route and Modi ji is silent. This is a diplomatic and economic failure of the Modi government. Modi ji pick up your bags and leave," Surjewala said.


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