Fuel price hike: Left threatens UPA

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Chennai, Feb 1: The Left parties today threatened the UPA Government at the Centre that it will be forced to reconsider its crucial outside support to the Government if the Centre went ahead with the proposed fuel price hike.

Talking to newspersons here, CPI(M) Secretary D Raja said, ''if the Centre goes ahead with increasing the price of petrol and diesel, the relationship between us and the UPA Government will weaken. Then we will have to review the ties with the UPA Government.'' Besides, a nation-wide agitation would be launched if the Centre went ahead with hiking fuel prices, he added.

Mr Raja urged the Centre to cut down the duty component instead of hiking the fuel prices as it would increase the burden on the common people. ''The Government should keep in abeyance the increase in road cess and rollback the hike in excise duties on petrol and diesel.'' He said the Left was also against the Centre's proposal to allow Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in petroleum and mining sector.

''We do not understand why the Government should allow FDI in petroleum and mining sectors,'' the Marxist leader asked, claiming that allowing FDI would further weaken the Indian economy.

On the Sethusamudram Shipping Channel Project, he demanded that the Centre come out with a white paper on the project.

UNI

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