Thu, 24 May 2012 08:21:54 GMT

Allies join opposition in condemning petrol price hike

New Delhi: The Congress-led central government Wednesday came under fierce attack from the opposition and its own constituents over the sharpest petrol price hike ever of over Rs.7 a litre.

Petrol prIce hike atrocious and unjust: BJP

The decision, coming a day after the budget session of parliament ended, created a political uproar with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leading the charge against the government.

The BJP accused the government of mismanaging the economy and demanded a rollback in the hike.

"It's atrocious and unbelievable. The UPA government on its third anniversary has given the gift of fuel hike to the people," said BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar.

"This is injustice and there is no justification for this," he said.

BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain warned that the Congress would be taught a lesson in the general elections, adding that the UPA allies would face collateral damage for being seen to support the Congress over the unpopular move. He accused the UPA of celebrating three years in power Tuesday when the economy was reeling.

Hussain said the price hike has exposed the government's claims of standing up for the common man.

"The government had taken this step emboldened by the presence of new allies," he said, alluding to leaders like Mulayam Singh Yadav of the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Lalu Prasad of the Rashtriya Janata Dal sharing the stage with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi at the anniversary celebrations.

The Communist parties, too, slammed the hike.

Leader Sitaram Yechury of the CPI-M said that the government had put enormous burden on people. He said it seemed the government was not subsidising people but people were subsidising the government.

D. Raja of the Communist Party of India (CPI) said: "It will burden the common people and we will protest on the streets and the government will have to rollback the hike."

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