Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh BJP leaders on Monday (September 23) said that their party would soon stage a protest against the Madhya Pradesh government's decision to increase the Value Added Tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel by 5%.

Speaking to reporters, leader of the opposition in Madhya Pradesh Assembly, Gopal Bhargava, said, "This is against the promise made by the ruling Congress before the state elections last year."

"We will soon announce a state-wide agitation against the 5% hike in VAT on petrol and diesel in Madhya Pradesh. We will finalise details of the agitation soon after our state president (Rakesh Singh) returns from his foreign tour," Bhargava said.

He said the Congress had promised to reduce the cost of two fuels in the state by Rs 5, in its manifesto before coming to power in the state last year.

"It was not 'Vachan Patra', but 'Jhoot Patra' (false manifesto). The increased cost of the two fuels is causing a lot of hardships to people," he said.

The petrol pump owners in the state have also opposed the VAT hike, claiming that prices of two fuels in Madhya Pradesh are now highest in the country.

Citing extensive damage caused by heavy rains in the state, the Congress-led state government increased 5% VAT on petrol and diesel from Friday midnight to generate additional revenue. It also hiked the VAT on liquor by 5%.

"We are planning to hold a protest by shutting down the petrol pumps soon," Madhya Pradesh Petrol Pump Owners Association's president Ajay Singh said.

After this increase, the diesel price went up by Rs 3.13 per litre and petrol by Rs 3.24 per litre in Bhopal on Saturday, he said.

On Saturday, the petrol was sold at Rs 81.49 per litre and diesel at Rs 72.78 per litre in the state.