Jaya condemns fuel price hike, demands rollback

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Chennai, Feb 14 (UNI) Condemning the Centre for hiking the petrol and diesel prices, AIADMK General Secretary J Jayalalithaa today demanded immediate rollback of the prices.

In a statement here, she said the hike would lead to increase in prices of other esential commodities also.

She criticised the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre for increasing the price of petrol and diesel for the record seventh time after coming to power in 2004.

The increase in price of diesel would severely affect the farmers, who used diesel for their pumpsets and transporting their produce to the market.

She said the Centre had unnecessarily hiked the prices when it was in a position to reduce the customs duty and cess imposed on petroleum products.

''It is a matter of concern that the Centre is not willing to think on these lines,'' she said.

She flayed Chief Minister M Karunanidhi for not opposing the hike, while the Centre was contemplating about it for the last one month.

''While Mr Karunanidhi remained a silent spectator to the hike, Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram went a step ahead reportedly opposing the suggestion to reduce the excise duty on petrol in today's political affairs committee meeting,'' she said.

CPI State Secretary D Pandian also condemned the hike and declared that the party would organise state-wide agitations on February 16 and 17.

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