Left want immediate reduction in fuel prices

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New Delhi, Nov 26 (UNI) The Left parties today demanded immediate reduction in the prices of fuel, accusing both the BJP and Congress of politicising the issue, saying slashing prices of petrol, diesel, kerosene and cooking gas does not amount to violation of the code of conduct for elections in States.

While CPI general secretary A B Bardhan demanded that the prices be reduced today itself, CPI(M) senior leader Salim Mohammed asked what prevented the government from effecting the reduction when it has already done in the case of aviation fuel.

The Left, which have been demanding rollback of the fuel prices hiked by ten per cent when international crude nearly touched the 150 dollars a barrel mark, has already decided to press their demand on December 2 when they alongwith TDP and Janata Dal(Secular) observe a protest day.

While Congress has defended the announcement of Petroleum Minister to rollback the hike after December 24 when ongoing election process would be over, BJP has dubbed it a violation of the election code and submitted a memorandum to the Election Commission here today.

Mr Bardhan said the government was in a hurry when crude reached unprecedented level of 150 dollars a barrel but was now holding back when the price has come down by one third to around 50 dollars a barrel.

Commenting on sparring on the issue between the Congress and BJP, Mr Gurudas Dasgupta of the CPI(M) said it is shame for these parties to induge in political stunts on the issue which affect the economy and people.

Forward Bloc national secretary G Devrajan asked how lowering the fuel prices could be dubbed a issue benefitting the ruling Congress when its government has hiked salary of state-owned companies even as state elections are underway. BJP's opposition only proves that it is not concerned over the plight of consumers.

UNI KSA-SAA RP AS1741

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