Fuel price hike; Sarathkumar urges TN govt to bear the burden

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Chennai, Jun 9 (UNI) Actor-Politician R Sarathkumar, President of the fledgling All India Samathuva Makkal Katchi (AISMK) today urged the Tamil Nadu Government to temporarily suspend freebies and come forward to bear the burden of people in the wake of hike in fuel prices.

Talking to mediapersons here, he said the DMK government could think of suspending the distribution of free colour television sets and gas stoves for the time being as the fuel price hike had badly hit all sections of society.

The DMK, having made the freebies as poll promises and came to power, had to fulfill its promises, he said, adding the government could stop them for few months and divert the Rs 7,500 crore being spent on the freebies to overcome the present crisis.

He said the party would launch an agitation on June 12 against the increase in prices of petroleum products, which had affected people and trigerred rise in prices of all commodities.

He flayed the DMK and the Left parties for being a 'mute spectator' when the Congress-led UPA Government hiked the prices.

It was a mockery that the Left parties, while supporting the government, were organising agitations, he charged.

''Why can't the DMK and the Left parties tell the Congress government not to hike the prices or withdraw support to the government when it ignored their pleas,'' he asked.

Mr Sarathkumar held the view that the Centre, instead of hiking the fuel prices, following spurt in prices of crude in the international market, could have made good the revenue loss by levying hefty taxes on liquor, cigarettes, pan parag and gutkha, which were injurious to health.

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