Hyderabad: Several Facebook users are sharing a screenshot of an India Today article along with the photo of DMK leader and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K Stalin. Netizens are claiming that DMK has decided to hike petrol and diesel prices. The article headline reads, "Tamil Nadu govt increases VAT on fuel: Petrol price up by Rs 3.25 per litre, diesel by Rs 2.50".
A text accompanying the screenshot translates to, "The DMK government has raised the VAT on petrol and diesel".
The claim that the DMK has decided to increase fuel prices is false.
The India Today article is from 3 May 2020. At the time, the AIADMK government was in power and it had decided to revise VAT on fuel which led to petrol prices being increased by Rs. 3.25 per litre and diesel by Rs. 2.50 per litre. The DMK only came to power a year later in May 2021. This proves that the India Today article is neither recent nor linked to the DMK.
Next, according to reports from March 2021, Stalin-led DMK released its poll manifesto for Tamil Nadu elections 2021 and promised a reduction in petrol and diesel prices by Rs. 5 and Rs. 4 per litre, respectively. Stalin said that if voted to rule, the DMK government would not only reduce the prices of fuel but would also offer a subsidy of Rs. 100 per LPG cylinder.
After the party assumed power, no official notice on reduction of fuel prices was made and this led to the AIADMK leaders asking the government to cut Excise duties and bring petroleum products under GST. The former Deputy Chief Minister said that since the DMK government assumed office on 7 May, the petrol prices had gone up from Rs. 93.17 per litre to Rs. 97.43 per litre and diesel price from Rs. 86.65 per litre to Rs. 91.64 per litre. This led to a controversy and thus, the spread of the fake news. However, the DMK has not made any official statements with respect to the increase in fuel prices.
There are no credible news reports that mention DMK hiking fuel prices. Hence, the claim is false.