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Fuel Price Hike: Govt Under Fire From Ally, Rivals

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The fuel price hike saw the government on Friday coming under fire from ally Trinamool Congress and political rivals BJP and Left parties which decided to hit the streets on the issue while AIADMK demanded an immediate rollback of the increase.

West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee opposed the hike in fuel prices, saying it will put the common man in great difficulty.

"We do not support the repeated rise in fuel prices. This will put the common man in great difficulty. We have conveyed our view where it needs to be conveyed," Banerjee, whose Trinamool Congress is a key UPA ally, said in Kolkata.

Pointing out that fuel prices were already high, she said "kerosene and domestic gas are used by common people.

The price of petrol was also recently hiked."

Describing the hike in diesel and LPG prices as an "inhuman step", BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said "the increase will also affect India's growth story" the party would hold protest demonstrations tomorrow across the country.

"BJP President Nitin Gadkari has announced that the party will hold protests from the district to the national level across the country against the hike," BJP vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told PTI.

He said the hike has been announced by the government to "serve the interest of the oil mafia".

"In the last one year, the government has increased petroleum prices ten times. While the common man is bearing the brunt of price rise, the government has now added fuel to fire," Naqvi said.

BJP also dared the UPA allies opposing this price hike to come clear on their stand and leave the alliance in support of the common man, instead of doing mere lip service.

"The step to increase the LPG and diesel prices is an inhuman step, considering that this government has not taken any measures to contain food inflation", said Sitharaman.

She said the hike in diesel and LPG prices will have a cascading effect on inflation.

CPIM) said Left parties will organise nationwide protests against the "completely unacceptable" hike in prices of diesel, kerosene and cooking gas.

CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury said the sops announced in terms of reduction in duties were not sufficient.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa described as "unacceptable" the  fuel price hike and demanded its immediate rollback.

"The price of LPG, which is being used by all strata of people has been increased by Rs 50. People cannot tolerate this. Further, the price of kerosene has also been increased by Rs 2. This will severely affect the poor people as they are the main consumers of kerosene" Jayalalithaa said in a statement in Chennai.

On the increase in diesel price by Rs 3 a litre, she said it would have a cascading effect on the prices of most commodities, including vegetables, as they are transported by road.

"When there is an overall rise in prices, this hike in fuel prices would severely affect the people. I, therefore, would like to insist that the Centre should immediately roll back the hike in prices of diesel, kerosene and LPG," she said.


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