BJP protests fuel price hike in Delhi, demands rollback (Lead)

June 25th, 2011 - 7:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, June 25 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) held a demonstration here Saturday against the hike in the prices of diesel, kerosene and cooking gas, and demanded a rollback.

“Instead of listening to the complaints of the common man, the government is showing a no-mercy attitude by raising the prices of essential commodities,” said the BJP’s V.K. Malhotra, Leader of Opposition in the Delhi state assembly.

“The hike in prices of fuel and cooking gas is unjustified,” he added.

Shouting slogans against the government and asking the people to join in, the party organised the protest at Jantar Mantar.

Scores of workers of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) also staged a separate protest against the fuel hike.

Prabhat Kumar of the CPI(ML) said: “Once again fuel prices have been hiked - diesel by Rs.3 and LPG cylinders by Rs.50. The hike is a burden on the common man.”

Petroleum Minister S. Jaipal Reddy Friday announced that the price of diesel will be increased by Rs.3 per litre, kerosene by Rs.2 per litre and domestic liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) by Rs.50 per cylinder, excluding state levies such as VAT.

The hike came a day after the government announced that food inflation had soared to nearly a 10-week high of 9.13 percent for the week ended June 11.

Reddy claimed that the price hike was minimal.

“Jaipal Reddy’s statement is absolutely rubbish. This shows his arrogance,” said Kavita Krishnan, central committee member, CPI(ML).

“The government’s claim of companies (oil and gas sector) incurring losses is a complete lie. It’s just offering privileges to private players. The government is unwilling to change the policies,” she added.

People voiced their concern after the hike, calling it an additional burden on household budgets.

“The government says the petroleum companies are incurring a loss, so a hike. What about the loss that we as tax payers are suffering. We can’t cut down on our basic needs now,” said a miffed Sumati Dewan, a housewife from east Delhi’s Laxmi Nagar.

Members of the All India Youth Federation (AIYF), the youth wing of the Communist Party of India, and the All India Students Federation (AISF) also marched to protest against the price hike.

AIYF leader Ameeq Jami said: “If the government is not ready to change its policies then citizens of India will change it. Its job is to work for state welfare.”

The government is providing benefits to business groups like Ambanis and Tata and making the common man’s life miserable, he said.

Before the hike, oil marketing companies suffered losses of Rs.13.72 per litre of diesel, Rs.26.16 per litre of kerosene and Rs.381.14 per LPG cylinder, according to official sources.

On a daily basis, Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum together incur a total loss of Rs.456 crore on the sale of the three petro-products, said the sources.

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