The steepest-ever increase in the price of petrol has invited angry reactions from some United Progressive Alliance (UPA) allies and Opposition parties alike, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Left parties threatening to launch widespread agitations against the move.
Even the Trinamool Congress, an ally of the UPA, lambasted the central government for the “unilateral” decision. However, party chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee made it clear there was no immediate threat to the government. “I do not want to topple the government at the Centre. We are committed to support it for five years,” said Banerjee.
The BJP was trenchant in its attack on UPA-II, basking in the glory of completing three years in office. Ravi Shankar Prasad, BJP general secretary, said the rise was “unreasonable”. “Life of the common man will become more difficult and miserable. Increase in prices of petrol will have a cascading effect. It is condemnable.”
Left parties have already announced their decision to launch country-wide protests, and called upon all party units to immediately organise protest actions.
The Samajwadi Party also criticised the government for increasing the price of petrol, terming it “anti-people”. Rajendra Chowdhury, SP spokesperson, said, “We demand immediate rollback of the petrol price hike.”
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa said the price hike be withdrawn immediately.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, wrote on social networking website Twitter, “The huge hike in petrol prices is a prime example of the failure of the Congress-led UPA government.”
UPA’s ally, the DMK, has asked the government to rollback the price hike. Party chief M Karunanidhi said, “My MPs will work towards putting across the party’s views.”