New Delhi: Coming under severe criticism from a host of political leaders for hiking the price of the LPG soon after the Delhi Assembly Election 2020, Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan on Thursday said that the LPG price hike was not related to elections.

“The LPG price hike is not related to the elections. LPG price hike depends on global markets and consumption. Energy is a global commodity. Sometimes it goes up, sometimes it goes down. It’s not in my hand,” Pradhan said.

The statement from the minister came a day after the Central government on Wednesday hiked the price of cooking gas by a whopping Rs 140 per cylinder of 14 kg.

“Due to declining crude oil prices petrol and diesel prices came down by Rs 5 in last 20 days,” he added further.

Earlier in the day, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi slammed the Centre for the price rise with tweeting a UPA-era picture of the saffron party’s leaders protesting an increase in prices of cooking gas at the time.

“I agree with these members of the BJP as they protest the astronomical 150 Rs price hike in LPG cylinders,” Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet. He also attached a picture of BJP leaders, including Smriti Irani, protesting rise in cooking gas prices. He used the hashtag ‘RollBackHike’.

The Congress leader’s tweet focused on the sharp political rivalry between him and Irani and is taken as a reminder that he has not forgotten the loss of his family bastion Amethi to the BJP leader.

The hike in the price of the LPG came just a day after the AAP got a huge mandate to form the government in the national capital. The BJP manages to score only 8 seats in the Delhi Assembly Election 2020.

After the hike, now each LPG cylinder of 14.2 kg will now cost Rs 858.50 in Delhi (up by Rs 144.50); Rs 896.00 in Kolkata (increased by Rs 149); Rs 829.50 in Mumbai (up by Rs 145); and Rs 881.00 in Chennai (up by Rs 147).