New Delhi, Feb.14: Left parties on Thursday called for a nation-wide agitation against a government decision to hike petrol and diesel prices. Left leaders claimed that the UPA Government, which their front crucially supports from the outside, had ignored their suggestions to cut excise and customs duties to minimise burden on the people.
"We are utterly disappointed by the decision," CPM Politburo member Sitaram Yechury said in New Delhi. The Communist Party of India, the Revolutionary Socialist Party and the Forward Bloc also protested against the hike, which takes effect from midnight tonight, saying that collective suggestions by it have not been considered by the government. "The CPI is completely opposed to the decision which will have a cascading effect on the already overburdened common man who has been hit badly by the high prices of all essential items," party's National Secretary D Raja said.
RSP leader Abani Roy said the government "which has come to power with the slogan of the 'aam aadmi' has completely ignored the people. The people should rise against this decision". He said Finance Minister P Chidambaram was "not at all caring for the people and the decision reflects his adamant attitude".
Forward Bloc leader G Devarajan said the government should immediately set up a Price Stabilisation Fund to control the increase in prices of petrol products.
The Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs on Thursday decided to raise petrol and diesel prices by Rs.2 and Re 1 a litre respectively from midnight.