MK fires salvo at Centre

Left parties call for strike against fuel price hike

In a statement issued on Sunday, party president and former chief minister M Karunanidhi said the latest hike in the price of diesel, kerosene and cooking gas will affect the poor, lower middle class and middle class sections the most.

Though Karunanidhi has not used strong condemnatory words as yet against the Centre—he is already upset over the denial of bail for his daughter and party MP Kanimozhi arrested in the 2G spectrum scam case—the DMK patriarch has quietly tuned to an anti-UPA wavelength amidst other political parties, including the All India ADMK calling for a rollback of the price hike.

Mincing no words, the senior DMK leader asserted that here was no point in the Centre confining itself to justifications of the petro-products hike every time, saying that its hands were tied by soaring crude oil prices in the global market. “Every time this problem arises (hike in petroleum products prices), the Centre seeks to mollify the affected sections of the people with justifications. But this will not suffice. As the issue seriously hits a majority of the people in the country, the Centre should give top priority to addressing this issue and evolving a mechanism to permanently resolve it,” Karunanidhi said. It may not be wrong to revert to the regime of administered prices for sensitive petroleum products.

He also wanted the Jayalalitha to take steps in curbing the price rise. He pointed out that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had cut the “cess” on cooking gas at the state-level.

Karunanidhi urged the Jayalalitha Government in Tamil Nadu to take similar decisions like foregoing the additional ST so that it will give some cushion to the vast majority of the people already suffering from high prices.

Chief Minister Jayalalitha who condemned the hike has demanded a complete rollback. Meanwhile, the Left parties have condemned the latest hike in petro-products prices and called for a state-wide protest on Monday.

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