The Election Commission is understood to have rejected Andhra Pradesh government`s plea to permit it to reduce sales tax on petrol by three per cent ahead of June 12 by-elections in the state.
The CT Department officials took up the issue "informally" with ECI but were clearly told that no such permission would be given as the ruling party could try to derive mileage out of it, highly-placed official sources in the state government said.
When price of petrol was hiked on previous occasions, the Chief Minister had refused to concede the opposition parties` demand for reduction in sales tax as it was the highest in the country at 33 per cent.
The Chief Minister had also turned down even Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee`s suggestion when petrol price was increased by Rs 5 a litre last time.
Now that Congress is facing rough weather in the by-elections to one Lok Sabha and 18 Assembly seats and the petrol price hike threatening to mar its prospects further, the Chief Minister had sought to cut the tax by three per cent and gain political mileage.
The EC, however, nipped Kiran`s proposal in the bud.