Junior Badal asks Cong to give memo to PM on price hike

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Chandigarh, June 9 (UNI) Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal today advised the Punjab Pardesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Rajinder Kaur Bhattal to ask the UPA government to subsidise the fuel prices for Punjab in view of the state's outstanding contribution in the critical area of food security.

''This is no time for gimmicks to please your bosses in Delhi or to mislead the people of Punjab through gestures that lack substance and sincerity'', he said in a statement while refering to the memorandum submitted by the PPCC to the state Governor earlier in the day asking the state government to slash VAT on diesel, petrol and LPG.

At stake is the survival of the common man in Punjab in the face of crippling inflation and general price rise, Mr Badal stated.

He said the SAD would make an appraisal of the situation to make recommendations to the state government in the light of the inflationary pressures caused by the Union Government's economic policies and decisions, especially the fuel price hike.

The state BJP unit, an alliance partner of the SAD had yesterday appealed to the state government to lower state taxes on petrol, diesel and LPG.

Coming down heavily against the PPCC chief's ''hollow theatricals in presenting a memorandum on fuel hike to the Punjab Governor'', Mr Badal said the correct platform was the Prime Minister's office at the government level and Mrs Sonia Gandhi's residence at the political level. However, Mrs Bhattal and other state Congress leaders simply do not have the courage to go and meet the central leaders even on an issue of such vital importance to the people, he added.

UNI HS PDT KP1938

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