Facing growing flak from the Opposition parties and the public over spiralling fuel prices, the Bhartiya Janta Party yesterday took to Twitter to reveal the "Truth of hike" in petrol and diesel prices since 2004. The party tweeted the two graphs on the day 21 opposition parties led by the Congress held a nation-wide 'Bharat Bandh' to protest over fuel prices.
What the ruling party intended to show was that fuel price hikes were far steeper during the eight years when the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance was in power, compared to the total percentage increase under the current regime. But, hilariously, both the bar graphs ended up depicting a "fall" in prices from Rs 71.41 to Rs 80.73 per litre of petrol and Rs 56.71 to Rs 72.83 per litre of diesel.
This inadvertent blooper killed the punch of the tweets, which otherwise might have helped take away some of the heat the government is taking on this front. The graph on petrol prices shows a 20.5% jump between 2004 and 2009, followed by a shocking 75.8% jump to Rs 71.41 over the next four years to 2014. In comparison, the party wanted to show that the percentage increase in petrol prices slid dramatically to 13% (Rs 80.73, yesterday's price in Delhi) between 2014 and 2018.
Truth of hike in diesel prices! pic.twitter.com/gF7CWHeiti- BJP (@BJP4India) September 10, 2018
Similarly, the graph on diesel prices depicts a 42% price jump between 2004 and 2008, followed by a 83.7% jump to Rs 56.71 per litre in 2014. On the other hand, the four years under the Modi government has seen a 28% jump in the fuel's price to Rs 72.83, which was the price in Delhi yesterday. Of course, both fuel prices have gone up further today. Petrol currently costs Rs 80.87 in Delhi while diesel costs Rs 72.97 per litre.
Truth of hike in petrol prices! pic.twitter.com/hES7murfIL- BJP (@BJP4India) September 10, 2018
In any case, the Congress party was happy to use the graphs to take potshots at the government on its official Twitter handle. "When you have to hide a 343% increase in taxes, but don't know how. Even we couldn't resist retweeting this," read one tweet.
In another tweet, the Congress helpfully put out a rectified graph, which also factored in international crude oil prices. "There! Fixed it for you @BJP4India #MehangiPadiModiSarkar," read the tweet.
Significantly, the Rahul Gandhi-led party also shared an infographic that implied that fuel price hikes at home have outpaced the rise in international crude oil prices. Take a look:
Holding back no punches, the Congress added "India, here's why we are better at handling the economy and why you should vote us back to power."
While the political parties battle it out, the Twitteratti, predictably, have gone to town trolling the graphs. Here are some reactions:
2 bhakts reacting after seeing BJP's graph justifying petrol price hike pic.twitter.com/qLkLu1QdGV- Kapil (@kapsology) September 10, 2018
You get an F in math, F in statistics, F in graphics, but A in imagination and A+ in fiction. https://t.co/4WC8fuaZ3i- Salil Tripathi (@saliltripathi) September 10, 2018
- Srivatsa (@srivatsayb) September 10, 2018
If you're going to provide data, please provide complete data along with prevailing international prices and excise duties. Not in graph form (where you can manipulate viewers minds) but in tabular form, year on year data.
- Irreverent Lawyer (@rebelawyer) September 10, 2018