Lashing out at the UPA government for hiking petrol prices, the Left parties on Friday asked all their state units to launch nationwide protests saying the move was a major factor responsible for fuelling prices of essential commodities.
"Government's deregulation of petrol pricing is responsible for fuelling hike of essential commodities and inflation," the CPI(M) Politburo said in a statement.
"The hoax of the pricing according to the market has been exposed as international oil prices have fallen considerably in the recent period," it said, adding the Congress-led coalition "has once again displayed its shocking callousness at the plight of the people".
The food inflation rate touched 12.21% the day the petrol prices were raised by Rs 1.80 per litre, the party said and asked its units to launch united protests, including mass picketing, across the country.
The CPI Secretariat also condemned the petrol price hike, terming it "unjustified" and said the prices of essential commodities were already high and were going up.
"This increase will add additional burden on the common people", it said, demanding immediate withdrawal of the increase in the prices of petrol.
Noting that petrol prices were raised after the petroleum ministry announced moves to hike diesel and cooking gas prices against, CPI-M leader Nilotpal Basu said the government was "totally insensitive" to the miseries of the people.
"The taxation policy of hydro-carbon is totally anti-people. Due to ad valorem taxes when the prices of petrol increases, tax collection rises even more," he said.
CPI leader D Raja said the hike was a big blow to the "aam aadmi" at a time when food inflation had reached double digit.