LPG cylinder price reduction: Chidambaram, Kanimozhi hit out at Modi government

Kanimozhi also questioned if women were only bothered about cooking gas prices and whether they should be just confined to the kitchen.


Published Mar 09, 2024 | 5:22 PMUpdatedMar 09, 2024 | 5:22 PM

Kanimozhi and Chidambaram

Senior Congress leader and former Union Minister P Chidambaram said, on Saturday, 9 March, that he welcomed the Union government’s announcement to reduce the LPG cylinder price by ₹100 but said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should ensure that the price will not be increased if his party comes to power again.

Also, he sought to know if there was any budgetary provision for over ₹5.90 lakh crore projects, including ₹17,300 crore projects for Tamil Nadu announced by the Prime Minister in a fortnight from 22 February.

DMK leader and Lok Sabha member Kanimozhi also criticising the Union government hinted that the ₹100 per cylinder cut in cooking gas LPG price had been done with an eye on polls and asked why such a reduction was not effected earlier.

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‘Only women bothered about cooking?’

On the announcement being made on International Women’s Day by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Friday, she also wondered if women were only bothered about cooking gas prices and whether they should be just confined to the kitchen.

“If the LPG cylinder price could have been reduced, it could have been done earlier. The rate has been reduced with (Lok Sabha) elections around. Not just that, reducing it on Women’s Day shows as if women are bothered only about LPG cylinders and nothing else,” she told reporters in Chennai.

Job creation could be done for women among “so many other things,” she said.

When asked about Prime Minsiter Modi’s frequent visits to Tamul Nadu, she said, “The election is coming, so he is coming repeatedly.”

Congress guarentees

Speaking to reporters at Satyamurthy Bhavan, the Congress state headquarters in Chennai, Chidambaram said his party leader Rahul Gandhi has given five guarantees to the nation ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, and that these will translate into poll assurances in the party’s election manifesto.

The guarantees include:

  • An assurance on recruitment to eliminate the unemployment problem in the country by filling up nearly 30 lakh vacancies in the Union government.
  • Right to Apprenticeship Law for the benefit of diploma holders and graduates.
  • A new legislation to stop question paper leak for government jobs.
  • Social security for “gig economy” workers involved in informal jobs.
  • Capital support for the youth to start ventures on their own.

“These will be fulfilled if the alliance led by the Congress comes to power in the Lok Sabha election,” Chidambaram, who heads the party’s poll manifesto committee, said.

Elaborating on the assurances, he said the legislation on question paper leak would also ensure monetary compensation to the victims besides trial in fast-track courts to punish the offenders.

When sought for his reaction to the Prime Minister’s announcement on International Women’s Day to slash the domestic gas cylinder price by ₹100, Chidambaram replied, “I welcome the reduction. But Modi should assure that he will not increase the price if his party comes to power again.”

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Attack on Modi

He slammed the Prime Minister for not implementing the poll assurances on reducing the prices of fuel, ensuring two crore jobs to the youth and depositing ₹15 lakh into the bank accounts of the people.

“From 22 February to 7 March, the Prime Minister had announced over ₹5.90 lakh crore projects for the country, including ₹17,300 crore for Tamil Nadu. I don’t find any mention of these in the Union Budget. These announcements are like jasmine flowers and paper flowers,” Chidambaram said.

To a question, he replied that the BJP-led government at the Centre had done precious little to address the unemployment problem.

“The Agnipath scheme will be abolished and the previous system of recruitment to the armed forces will be restored, if the Congress regains power at the Centre,” the Congress leader said.

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