New Delhi: The steep rise in petrol prices
drew sharp criticism from major opposition parties which on Sunday slammed the government for putting "unprecedented burden" on
the common man and demanded reversal of the de-regulation
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
He alleged that the step was taken to "realise all its
expenses" incurred on recently held elections in the five
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
"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.