Allies, Opposition slam diesel price hike

Allies and opposition parties on Thursday night attacked the Government over the hike in diesel prices.

Updated: Sep 14, 2012, 00:35 AM IST

New Delhi: Allies and opposition parties on Thursday night attacked the Government over the hike in diesel prices saying it will further hit the common man and demanded an immediate rollback.

The second-largest constituent of the UPA-- Trinamool Congress, strongly opposed the increase in diesel prices.

"We are unhappy. We will not accept it and demand its rollback," West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress president Mamata Banerjee said.

"We were not consulted for this," Railway Minister Mukul Roy, another TMC leader, told PTI from Kolkata.

TMC`s reaction came after the government decided to hike diesel prices by Rs 5 per litre effective midnight tonight.

The Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs, headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, this evening decided to raise diesel prices by Rs 5 per litre, excluding VAT (value-added tax).

It also decided to restrict supply of subsidised cooking gas to six cylinders per household in a year.

The BJP termed the price hike as a cruel joke and "mortal blow" to the common man and farmers and charged the government with conspiring with petrol `mafia`.

"This is a cruel joke on the common man in the country. It has hit farmers hard during the peak paddy sowing season. We will not allow this hike. We will not allow this government to loot the common man like this," BJP Vice President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.

BJP leaders Yashwant Sinha said, "Diesel increase will have a cascading effect on the economy as a whole. Prices are already not under control, so this is going to contribute to overall inflation and create mayhem in the economy."

CPI National Secretary D Raja termed the decisions as "retrogade and anti-people".

"It will have an adverse effect on the prices of essential commodities which are already high. It will further increase hardship of common people. Government should not go ahead," he said.