The Congress Saturday defended the government's move to hike fuel prices, saying that the decision must have been taken under certain compulsions as no government wants to be unpopular.
“There must have been certain compulsions. No government wants to be unpopular,” Congress general secretary Janaradan Dwivedi said here.
Dwivedi, who heads the party's media department, did not elaborate on the compulsions that forced the government to increase the prices of petrol, diesel, kerosene and cooking gas.
The Congress in the past has expressed concern over the price rise and has discussed the issue in the party's working committee, its highest decision making forum.
Party leaders apprehend that the opposition parties were trying to use the issue of price rise to discredit the party of its “aam aadmi (common man)” plank and feel the need for the party to guard itself from the adverse criticism of the government.
The Congress said the government must have been constrained to take the decision to increase prices of petroleum products but should ensure that its impact on disadvantaged sections was cushioned to the extent possible.
Opposition parties have decided to launch country wide agitations on price rise with plans to organize a "Bharat bandh" (India shutdown).