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Akshay to Big B, how Bollywood is involved in the fuel price hike debate

India Today logo India Today 24-05-2018

Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar are posing for a picture © Provided by India Today

Goodbye, affordable fuel. Petrol and diesel prices have skyrocketed in the country, and are currently at an all-time high. There is no respite for the common man, with the prices only going up with each passing day. Right now, in Mumbai, petrol is priced at Rs 84.99 per litre, while a litre of diesel will set you back by Rs 72.76.

The surge in fuel prices has left people disgruntled with the Narendra Modi government, and demanding a reduction in excise duty on fuel. In January, it was revealed that the oil ministry was pushing for a cut in excise duty on petrol and diesel in the Union Budget this year, to cushion the impact of rising fuel prices. However, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley did not pay heed to the oil ministry's request.

As the debate rages on, Bollywood celebrities are finding themselves in the midst of it all. How, you ask? Akshay Kumar is at the receiving end of a lot of flak for deleting his old tweet complaining about the surge in fuel prices under the previous government.

"Guys, I think it's time to clean up your bicycles and hit the road! As per sources, expecting another petrol price hike," the now-deleted tweet from 2012 read.

Screenshot of Akshay Kumar's now-deleted tweet Screenshot of Akshay Kumar's now-deleted tweet

It was removed from his profile after a parody account on Twitter retweeted his tweet and wrote to the actor, "Akshay Sir, Big Fan! Can you please lend me your bycycle? I'll get it cleaned. (sic)"

Interestingly, the Toilet Ek Prem Katha actor's other tweets criticising the petrol price hike - one in 2011 and the other in 2012 - have not been deleted from his account.

Some, like Amitabh Bachchan and Anupam Kher, are being criticised for being vocal in the past about the increasing fuel prices. In 2012, Amitabh had written that Mumbaikars could just about afford enough petrol to burn their cars, while Anupam had written in a tweet the same year that thanks to the escalating petrol and diesel prices, his driver had kept his motorcycle at home as a showpiece.

Photo: Screenshot Photo: Screenshot

Photo: Screenshot Photo: Screenshot

However, they have maintained a stoic silence this time around and refrained from speaking against the Narendra Modi government. This has invited criticism from Twitteratti.

Meanwhile, some Bollywood celebrities like Farhan Akhtar, Sophie Choudry, Shirish Kunder and Vishal Dadlani have expressed their woes.

"When international oil prices are up (still not as high as they once were), our fuel prices go up. When international oil prices were low, our fuel prices still went up. Basically, whatever happens, screw the public. Just FYI, when fuel prices go up, ALL prices go up. Enjoy," Vishal Dadlani wrote.

Farhan pointed out how petrol costs are quite low, but thanks to steep rates of excise duty and VAT, consumers have to shell out a hefty sum.

Also watch: Shweta Bachchan's acting debut with Dad Amitabh Bachchan


(Video by IANS)

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