Questioning the timing of the steep hike in compressed natural gas (CNG) prices, Delhi's chief minister-designate Arvind Kejriwal on Friday said he will examine whether the increase can be rolled back after taking charge.
CNG price was increased by Rs 4.50 per kg and the price of cooking gas piped to kitchens has been raised by Rs 5.15 per kg with effect from Thursday midnight.
It will cost Rs 50.10 per kg in Delhi and Rs 56.70 per kg in Noida, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad from Thursday midnight, Indraprastha Gas Ltd (IGL) said.
"CNG rates hiked in Delhi. Isn't the time suspect?" Kejriwal posted on Twitter.
"What was the need to increase CNG prices when a new government is to take over in Delhi. It raises suspicions about their intention. I will look at the files once I take over tomorrow and see if the hike can be rolled back," Kejriwal said.
The autorickshaw drivers in the capital have threatened a strike demanding revision of fare after the hike in CNG prices of CNG that fuels public transport on Delhi roads.
A significant section of auto drivers had extended support to AAP in the election.
"They (auto drivers) have been associated with us for a long time... When I take charge tomorrow, I will hold consultations with them and try to find out a solution. We cannot rule out the possibility of a hike in auto fares in Delhi, if necessary," Kejriwal told reporteRs
"If rollback is not possible then auto fares will have to be revised; I urge auto-drivers not to go on strike," he said.
The state unit of the BJP on Friday said it will launch an agitation if the hike in the prices of compressed natural gas (CNG) and piped cooking gas was not rolled back.
"We demand that the hike be reversed immediately and prices of all other commodities that rose during Congress rule be brought down immediately, or we will launch an agitation," BJP leader Harsh Vardhan said.
Harsh Vardhan said the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) promised to the people that it will curb price rise and inflation as soon as it came to power, and it was time to fulfil that promise.
Delhi government has a 5% stake in IGL and can at best subsidise the hike which the company cannot roll back on its own.
The IGL on Friday said the hike was forced by court orders that had led to a cut in allocation of cheaper domestic natural gas.
(With inputs from PTI)