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The price hike has come as a cruel joke and 'mortal blow' to the common man and farmers already reeling under inflation and drought like situation
New Delhi: Slamming the government over diesel price hike, UP allies Trinamool Congress and Samajwadi Party have demanded an immediate rollback while the opposition said the increase will further hit the common man and create "mayhem" in the economy, reports PTI.
"We are unhappy. We will not accept it and demand its rollback," Mamata Banerjee, chief of Trinamool Congress, the second-largest constituent of the UPA said in Kolkata.
"If people do not mind, I will be most happy to withdraw support (to the UPA). If I withdraw support then other parties will provide support to them. And, then ask why we left the UPA which led to its collapse. People had misunderstood us when we had withdrawn support earlier."
The Trinamool Congress would take to the streets for 72 hours from Friday opposing the decisions, she said.
Demanding an immediate rollback in diesel prices, the Samajwadi Party, which provides outside support to the UPA, said, the decision is ill-timed.
"We demand immediate withdrawal of the hike as it will badly hit the common man and farmers," SP leader Kamal Farooqi said.
Their sharp reaction came after the government decided to hike diesel prices by Rs5.62 per litre effective Thursday tonight.
The Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs, headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, had decided to raise diesel prices.
It also decided to restrict supply of subsidised cooking gas to six cylinders per household in a year.
The BJP termed the price hike as a cruel joke and "mortal blow" to the common man and farmers and charged the government with conspiring with petrol 'mafia'.
"This is a cruel joke on the common man in the country. It has hit farmers hard during the peak paddy sowing season. We will not allow this hike. We will not allow this government to loot the common man like this," BJP Vice President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.
BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said, "Diesel increase will have a cascading effect on the economy as a whole. Prices are already not under control, so this is going to contribute to overall inflation and create mayhem in the economy."
CPI National Secretary D Raja termed the decisions as "retrogade and anti-people".
"It will have an adverse effect on the prices of essential commodities which are already high. It will further increase hardship of common people. Government should not go ahead," he said.
AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa accused the Government of constantly betraying the people. She said the diesel hike would result in increase of prices of essential commodities and vegetable.
"I demand the rollback of the hike in diesel price and ceiling in cylinder subsidy," she said.
"Even a family of 4 persons need the use of at least one cylinder per month. Hence they will also have to ease out the 6 cylinder norms, which is absolutely unreasonable. It goes without saying that the scam money is not with the exchequer but with others like the nexus of politicians-bureaucrats - businessmen who have pocketed the loot. Therefore it appears that the Government is left with no options but to raise the prices of diesel and do away with subsidies to augment the Government resources. They are least bothered if the common man suffers or survives on account of this price onslaught," said Dolphy Dsouza, former National Vice-President of All India Catholic Union and immediate Past President of The Bombay Catholic Sabha.
Admitting that it was an "unpleasant" decision of the government, Congress said it was not in favour of a hike to such an extent because it hurts the farmers and the common man.
Government has to take a conscious decision after taking all allies of the UPA into confidence, party general secretary Digvijay Singh said, adding that the issue should be discussed in the UPA coordination committee.