Govt comes under fire from ally, rivals over price hike

Govt comes under fire from ally, rivals over price hike

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 on Saturday 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 said.

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.

The 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.
Nirmala Sitharaman said the government has not taken any measures to contain food inflation.

She said the hike in diesel and LPG prices will have a cascading effect on inflation. The CPM said Left parties will organise nationwide protests against the “completely unacceptable” hike in prices of diesel, kerosene and cooking gas. CPM Politburo member Sitaram Yechury said the sops announced in terms of reduction in duties were not sufficient.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha 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” Jayalalitha said in a statement in Chennai.

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