On Thursday, the Centre had increased petrol price by Rs 2 per litre and diesel by Re 1. "We are against this decision and will organise protests against it. This hike was not necessary and should be withdrawn," CPI-M politburo member Sitaram Yechury had said, adding that UPA's supporters would demand a rollback. Left leaders claimed that the UPA Government had ignored their suggestions to cut excise and customs duties to minimise burden on the people.
The Communist Party of India (CPI), the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) and the All India Forward Bloc (AIFB) have also protested against the hike, saying that collective suggestions by them have not been considered by the government.
Besides Left, the BJP also called for nationwide protests saying the decision would lead to inflation and hit the comman man. The BJP will protest against it in the national capital today.
Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh had said that the hike in the petrol prices is marginal and if the government continues to provide subsidies, the fiscal system would collapse.
The Centre had raised prices of petrol and diesel for the first time in last 20 months to ease the losses of state-run oil firms squeezed by a surge in global crude oil prices while having to sell fuels cheaply.
The government did not increase prices in 2007 even though crude rose by over 50 percent in the year and topped 100 dollars per barrel. India imports about two-thirds of its crude consumption.