Karat threatens to launch protest if petrol price hiked

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Agartala, Feb 4: Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) General Secretary Prakash Karat on Sunday threatened to launch a nationwide protest, if the UPA government increased fuel prices.

He was speaking while addressing an election rally of the Left Front here today ahead of the State Assembly poll slated for February 23. Slamming the Congress party for "wrong economic policies" and "anti-people policies," Karat said people are already suffering with price hike of essential commodities and added that "non-secular parties" have taken an advantage of this and gained power in recent Assembly elections (in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh).

The government should reduce import duty on crude oil instead of passing the burden of hike in crude oil prices to the people, he said. The Union Cabinet is likely to take a decision on increasing petrol and diesel prices early this week.

On the Indo-US civil nuclear deal, Karat said the United States was trying to make India a "junior partner." Strategic alliance with the US and India's independent foreign policy cannot go hand in hand, he said, adding that the CPI-M will oppose every joint strategy with the US, whether it is civilian nuclear cooperation or defence agreements.


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