When asked about inflation and rising fuel prices, a BJP leader from Madhya Pradesh advised a journalist to ‘go to Afghanistan’. Ramratan Payal, who is the district unit chief of the party in Katni, said that concerns are being raised about petrol prices at a time when the third wave of the Covid-19 is imminent.
‘Go to Taliban. In Afghanistan, petrol is sold for Rs 50 per litre. Nobody even asks for it there. We are at least safe here (in India). India has already faced two waves of Covid, and the third is about to come,’ the BJP leader is heard saying in a video that has now gone viral. Additionally, the BJP leader is heard asking the journalist to ‘recognize the kind of situation the country is in’ and praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi for ‘controlling the situation’.
‘You are a respected journalist. Are you even aware of the kind of situation the country is in? The way Modi ji is handling the situation. Despite this, he continues to provide free rations to 80 crore people. Can anyone else give?’ he asked. Ironically, the BJP leader did not wear a mask or maintain social distance.
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— News24 (@news24tvchannel) August 19, 2021
Partha Chatterjee, leader of the Trinamool Congress, said that public representatives making ‘irresponsible comments’ was shameful. In a tweet, he wrote: ‘The insensitivity with which @BJP4India leaders treat national, as well as international issues, shows how detrimental these leaders are for the advancement of our nation. Such irresponsible comments from public officials are shameful!’
As reported in the media, another BJP MLA offered a similar piece of advice to critics or to those seeking higher prices. According to reports, Hari Bhushan Thakur Bachaul, MLA from the Bisfi constituency, said,’ It (the situation in Afghanistan) will not affect India at all, but those who feel scared here can go there because petrol and diesel are cheaper there’.