Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Sunday, October 17, said that the state government will decide on reducing the petrol price by effecting a tax cut, after reviewing the state's economy. "I have already said, it is dependent on the economy, after the bye-polls I will review the economy, at that time if the economy has improved, there is opportunity for it," Bommai, who also holds the Finance portfolio, said in response to a question whether there is any proposal to reduce taxes on petrol in Karnataka.
Earlier, the Chief Minister had rejected any tax cuts on fuel in the state. The price of petrol was hiked for the fourth day in a row on Sunday, October 17, by 35 paise taking the price of petrol in Delhi to its highest-ever level of Rs 105.84 per litre and Rs 111.77 per litre in Mumbai. This is the fourth straight day of 35 paise per litre increase in petrol and diesel prices. There was no change in rates on October 12 and 13.
Diesel prices have now increased 19 out of the last 23 days taking up its retail price by Rs 5.95 per litre. The price of diesel crossed Rs 100 in Karnataka on Saturday, October 16, while the price of petrol is over Rs 100 per litre in all state capitals in India.
The Congress has blamed the Bharatiya Janata Party governments for the hike in fuel prices and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had criticised Basavaraj Bommai and the ruling party. Siddaramaiah had cited the example of Tamil Nadu, which has reduced the fuel prices by Rs 3, and said that Karnataka's reduction should be more than that.
Sindagi and Hangal Assembly constituencies in the state will go for bye-polls on October 30, and the counting of votes will take place on November 2. Stating that he will begin his campaigning for the bye-polls from Hangal on Sunday, the Chief Minister said, he will give more time and campaigning in both Hangal and Sindagi, and expressed confidence that the BJP candidates will win in both seats with a huge margin.
The bye-elections have been necessitated as the seats fell vacant following the death of Sindagi JD(S) legislator MC Managuli and BJP's CM Udasi from Hangal. While Ramesh Bhusanur, who came second behind Managuli in 2018 polls, is the BJP candidate from Sindagi, Shivaraj Sajjanar is its candidate from Hangal constituency.
This is the first electoral challenge for Bommai after taking charge as the Chief Minister. Retaining Hangal is even more important for him as it is the neighbouring constituency to his Shiggaon Assembly segment.