"It will be the Centre's gift to the aam admi after the assembly elections in five states," Bhattacharjee, a CPI(M) politburo member, told a press conference here.
"Our impression is that the decision on hiking the price of petroleum has been taken much earlier and the Centre is waiting for elections to be over to announce it," he added.
Stating that there was increase in the prices of petroleum products seven times in the past few months, he said "a fresh price hike will have a cascading effect and will further push up the prices of essential commodities." He said an Empowered Group of Ministers (EGOM) was scheduled to meet on May 11 to mull the fuel price hike.
Stating that Left parties were opposed to freeing the price of petroleum products, he said, "we are for giving subsidy and feel that the decision of freeing prices from government control is wrong. But the UPA government thinks that it has taken a correct decision."
Bhattacherjee apprehended that not only the prices of petrol and diesel, but there would also be a simultaneous hike in the price of LPG.