Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Sunday hit out at the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government for the steep hike in the price of petrol, saying this reflected its "anti-people approach".
"This was the 12th time since the UPA government came to power that the price of petrol and petroleum products had been increased and that clearly reflects the anti-people approach of this Congress led regime," she said, in a release issued here.
"The fact that the hike was announced within 24 hours of the conclusion of elections in four states shows the cunningness of those sitting at the of affairs," she added.
Accusing the Congress leadership of playing dirty tricks with the common man, Mayawati recalled how the UPA government had announced a reduction in the petrol price shortly before the last Lok Sabha elections, "with the obvious intent of misleading and fooling the voter."
She wondered what was the justification behind the latest increase when the international price of petrol had gone down over the recent past. "Isn`t it intriguing that in February 2011, when the international petrol price had shot up to $120 a barrel, the UPA government restrained oil companies from raising the petrol price simply because it had the state assembly elections in mind; and now when the international price had come down to $99 a barrel, the price has been jacked up by Rs. 5 a litre," she claimed.
Accusing the UPA government of furthering the interests of the corporate sector, Mayawati noted how the union government had doled out special subsidies to the corporate sector all along.
"During the worst ever recession in 2008-2009, the central government doled out a subsidy package of Rs. 4 lakh crores to the corporate sector which was sustained even in 2009-2010 when the country`s economic growth had registered an increase to 6.8 percent. And now when the growth had further gone up to 8 percent, the union government had made a provision of 4.5 lakh crores worth of subsidies to the corporate sector, which shows where the interest of the people on power lies," she said.
"If the government had least concern for the common masses of this country, its leaders would have kept a fraction of that whopping subsidy for petrol products to dave the common man from the pressures on account of the petrol price hike," she added.
Demanding immediate withdrawal of the price hike, she said the petrol price increase would impact the prices of all other commodities, making lives of common people "even more miserable".