BJP decries Vaishno Devi helicopter service charge hike by coalition partner

Jammu: BJP today accused its ruling coalition partner PDP of not consulting the party while hiking the service tax on the helicopter service from Katra to Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine.

“The decision to hike service charge on the helicopter fare by 12.5 per cent by the PDP minister is uncalled for and we demand an immediate rollback of the decision”, Sunil Sethi, BJP’s chief state spokesman told reporters here.

“The decision was taken by the finance minister without taking into confidence the BJP ministers,” he said.

The fare hike was announced by the finance department yesterday.

Sethi said that the hike can have “negative connotation” on the religious sentiments of the people of Jammu, especially the pilgrims who use the service to visit the shrine using a helicopter.

The BJP leader further stated that the ideological difference between the coalition partners were coming to fore.

“Yes there are ideological differences, neither have we left our ideology nor did they (PDP) compromise on their ideology. The alliance between the two is based on the common minimum programme called Agenda for Alliance and both the parties have to follow it in letter and spirit”, Sethi said.

He noted that the PDP leadership should not take any decision without consulting the BJP on key issues. (PTI)