Kerala shuts down against diesel hike
Thiruvananthapuram: A shutdown called by opposition parties to protest the hike in diesel prices crippled Kerala Saturday.
Shops and markets across the state were closed in response to the strike called by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
State government offices reported poor attendance, officials said.
The CPI-M and BJP were also protesting against the cap on the number of cooking gas cylinders a family can get in a year.
This is the second such strike to hit Kerawla since May 24 when the opposition protested the increase in petrol prices.
On Saturday, both private buses and most public vehicles kept off the roads. Only a few state-owned buses operated.
But private vehicles were seen in good numbers across the state. The worst hit were those who reached railway stations and the state's three airports.
Every time fuel prices have gone up, the Kerala government has foregone the tax portion in the hike.
Thus, this time the hike would fall by Rs 1.14 a litre of diesel in the state.
"We do not agree to the price hike and we have done our bit by deciding to forego the additional revenue from the hike which the Kerala government would have got," remarked Chandy.
Because of the shutdown, all university examinations and those of the Kerala State Public Service Commission to be held Saturday were postponed.