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Backlash over Hike in Petrol, Diesel Tax; BJP Burns Effigy of CM

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Patna: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) activists in Patna on Wednesday burnt the effigy of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his political ally Lalu Prasad Yadav after the state Cabinet approved an increase in the tax of petrol and diesel.

Accusing the Grand Alliance government of being anti-farmers, the protestors demanded immediate roll-back on the tax that is part of the Chief Minister's plan to make up for the revenue loss caused by the imposition of prohibition in Bihar.

"After opening alcohol shops at every nook and corner of Bihar in the first ten years of his rule, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar decided to impose prohibition in the state causing massive loss in revenue earning. Now he is burdening the people of Bihar with all sorts of taxes to make up for the loss. With the new tax on diesel and petrol, it is clear the Chief Minister is trying to hurt the farmers of Bihar who cannot farm their fields without diesel," the protestors said.

As reported, the state government announced a hike of 1% in petrol tax and 1.5% in diesel tax. As a result, petrol in Bihar will now cost Rs. 1.13 per liter more than before at Rs. 64.16 while consumers will now have to shell out 72 paise more for each liter of diesel at Rs. 55.31.

The new tax is expected to generate Rs. 269 crore in revenue to the state, officials said.

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