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BJP arm-twists petrol pump owners into putting up hoardings of Narendra Modi


After the Narendra Modi led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government sought from petrol pump workers sensitive information like caste, religion and constituency, it has now issued a diktat making oil traders to put up pictures of PM Modi at gas stations. Petroleum dealers across the country are up in arms as government-owned oil marketing companies (OMCs) have allegedly threatened to stop supply in case they didn’t put up hoardings promoting government schemes with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s photo.

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The Hindu reports that the dealers are being arm-twisted into putting up hoardings of government schemes with Narendra Modi’s photos. They are also threated with blocking of supplies if they do not comply with the verbal advisory. S.S. Gogi, president, Consortium of Indian Petroleum Dealers (CIPD) spoke to The Hindu, “They are asking us to display the picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in retail outlets and those who refuse are threatened with blocking of supplies.” Ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Indian Oil Corp. Ltd. (IOCL), Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd. (HPCL) and Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd. (BPCL) have adviced that the dealers put up hoardings with PM Modi’s face, advertising the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana.

However, the OMCC have denied any such tactics. A senior official of the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOC), has also denied any such move.

“No OMC has threatened to choke supply as the dealers are alleging. Also, the fact that many are saying that the petrol pumps are being used to promote Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s photographs is incorrect,” said the official who spoke on condition of anonymity to The Print. “What we are doing is promoting the schemes. Now many of the schemes have been initiated by this government and therefore have his photograph. So, while promoting the schemes, his photograph automatically comes up. There is nothing more to it,” said the official.

The dealers have however, alleged that the information hasn’t come via a written order, it is being conveyed by area officers who are visiting the retail outlets. Earlier in June, the BJP government had allegedly asked over 10 lakh petrol pump employees to submit their personal information like caste, religion and constituencies. The petrol dealers are up in arms against the centre, claiming that such “data mining by the government is unconstitutional and an extreme breach of privacy.”

Also Read: Manmohan Singh letter to PM Modi: Don’t obliterate Nehru’s role, contributions

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