Oppn slams govt for petrol price hike, seeks rollback
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
New Delhi, May 15: The steep rise in petrol prices drew sharp criticism from major opposition parties which today slammed the government for putting "unprecedented burden" on the common man and demanded reversal of the de-regulation policy.
Hitting out the government, BJP National Vice President Mukhtar
Abbas Naqvi said the rise in prices of petroleum products every second month will "suck the blood" of the poverty-ridden masses.
He alleged that the step was taken to "realise all its expenses" incurred on recently held elections in the five states.
The Left parties termed the hike as a "cruel blow" by the UPA government and demanded a reversal of the de-regulation policy implemented in June last year.
"By increasing the price of petrol by Rs 5 a litre, the UPA government has given another cruel blow to the people who are already suffering from all-round price rise," a statement issued by CPI(M), CPI, RSP and Forward Bloc said.
After the deregulation of petrol pricing, the parties said, there have been more or less a monthly increase in petrol prices.
"But since January 2011 no increase in petrol prices was announced by the oil companies. Obviously, the government had directed them not to do so keeping in view the assembly elections to five states.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, however, said in Kolkata that the government had no control over petrol prices, which had been de-regulated in June last year.
He said the empowered GoM will meet next week to decide on diesel, LPG and kerosene prices.
In Allahabad, activists of Samajwadi Party disrupted rail traffic while those from BJP staged a dharna to protest the "rapacious hike" and demanded a rollback.
Workers of the Samajwadi Yuvjan Sabha, the youth wing of Mulayam Singh Yadav's party, went to the Prayag railway and squatted on the tracks blocking the movement of Lucknow-bound Ganga Gomti Express for an hour.
A dharna was organised at the busy Civil Lines crossing in the city by BJP supporters, led by former state minister and MLA Narendra Kumar Singh Gaur.
Shiromani Akali Dal also sought an immediate rollback and demanded a "transparent formula" for fixation of petrol price.
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, in a statement in Chandigarh, slammed the UPA for the "totally unjustified and unbearable" petrol price hike.
He said rather than "hastily increasing" the price of petrol, the Union government should have built a consensus on the issue by discussing it with all the political parties.
In a separate statement, SAD President Sukhbir Singh Badal said, "The Union Government has no justification in crushing the people by the highest-ever petrol price hike".
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said in Dehradun that the revised prices would further increase the miseries of common people, who are already reeling under the pressure of mounting inflation.
Opposition parties in Andhra Pradesh, including TDP, BJP, CPI-M and CPI, staged protests in different parts of the state against the recent petrol price hike and demanded its immediate rollback to ease common man's woes.
Over 200 BJP activists led by former Union minister Bandaru Dattatreya, took out a rally and burnt an effigy of Congress President Sonia Gandhi in Hyderabad.
CPI-M supporters organised a rasta-roko in the Andhra Pradesh capital.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 15 May 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 15 May 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 16 May 2011 00:00:00 IST
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