Bhubaneswar: The fuel price hike by the
Centre led to protests in the Orissa assembly with non-Cogress
parties demanding passage of a resolution seeking a roll-back.
While BJD, BJP, NCP and CPI members sought a
resolution on the price hike in the assembly, the opposition
Congress asked the state government to exempt entry tax and
sales tax on petrol and diesel to lessen the burden.
Stating that his party was opposed to the fuel price
hike, BJP legislature party leader K V Singhdeo said it would
have a cascading effect.
"We demand passage of a single line resolution seeking
a roll back in the price of petrol, diesel, kerosene and LPG
gas," he said.
Congress chief whip Prasad Harichandan, on the other
hand, said it was a step to bring down inflation.
By decontrolling petrol and disel, the Centre could
save about Rs 57,000 crore being spent on giving subsidy
to nationalised oil companies, which would help reduce
inflation, he said.
Congress members said that there were hikes in fuel
prices 21 times during NDA rule. "Why then did not the BJD
government attempt to pass a resolution against the hike?"
Throwing a challenge to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik,
Congress member Anup Sai asked the state government to provide
petrol at Rs 3 a litre just as it was distributing rice at Rs
2 a kg. "I hope Patnaik will announce this historic decision
Outside the assembly, BJD workers and leaders staged
dharna near Raj Bhavan and shouted slogans against the UPA
BJD`s student wing activists burnt an effigy of Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh and submitted a memorandum to governor
M C Bhadre for roll back fuel prices.