At a time when the public is feeling the pinch of rising petrol and diesel prices, people in Maharashtra got a surprise when a cut of Rs 4 to 9 per litre was announced on Thursday. The offer is made available at select fuel stations to mark the birthday celebration of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena president, Raj Thackeray, who has turned 50 today. The petrol price was at Rs 84.26 in Mumbai on Thursday.

Since the announcement, people have been queuing up at petrol pump stations to get a tank full in their vehicle.

It is not the first time that Thackeray has shown resentment over rising fuel prices. He has earlier also criticised the BJP government over its failure to control rising fuel prices. He also posted a cartoon showing a common man suffering in the hands of PM Modi and BJP president Amit Shah due to rising fuel prices.

A party worker told ANI, “The waiver is being offered since 8 am in the morning and will continue till afternoon. Two-wheeler owners will be paying Rs 4-5 less at selected petrol stations in Maharashtra.” He added, “In Mumbai’s Shivadi Assemby Constituency, we are giving a relief of Rs 9 per litre on petrol.”

The BJP-led government has been criticised by opposition and public over its failure to control rising fuel prices. The government did not cut down taxes when the rates were going up in line with crude oil prices. The petrol and diesel prices have, however, now come down on the back of declining global crude oil prices.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis earlier said that fuel prices will come down once the Centre builds a consensus to bring petrol and diesel under the Goods and Services Tax (GST). “A task force is already working on reducing the fuel prices. If it (petrol and diesel) can be brought under GST, rates will come down. Maharashtra has already given its consent for it.”