As the UPA government mulls a hike in fuel prices, Left allies and the Opposition BJP on Friday warned against such a move and instead sought other measures so that the common man, already reeling under rising prices, could be spared.
Ruling Congress, however, wanted understanding of the situation caused by volatility in global crude prices and maintained that the government was doing its duty to find a way out.
Any hike in the fuel prices is going to be a major headache for the Congress ahead of a series of assembly elections and can be used by the Opposition which is already targeting the government on the issue of price rise.
"Government knows our stand. There is no question of accepting any fuel price hike," CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat said.
He said the government had ignored the Left demands for restructuring excise and customs duty regime in crude oil and petro-products and added that this was the only durable solution in an era of high international oil prices.
Asserting that the BJP will oppose any move to hike fuel prices, party spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said the government should instead rejig duty structure and abolish import duty.
Besides, he said international crude prices could come down but domestic prices once increased are not reduced often.
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said that the government was facing a "difficult" situation with the hike in global prices on one side and losses suffered by oil companies on the other.