Left parties on Thursday called for nationwide agitation against the decision to hike petrol and diesel prices, saying their suggestions to cut excise and customs duties to minimise burden on the people had been "completely ignored" by the government.
"We are utterly disappointed by the decision," CPI(M) Politburo member Sitaram Yechury said. The sentiment was echoed by the leaders of the CPI, RSP and Forward Bloc who also said the collective suggestions by the UPA's outside supporters have not been considered by the government.
"The CPI is completely opposed to the decision which will have a cascading effect on the already overburdened common man who has been hit badly by the high prices of all essential items," party's National Secretary D Raja said.
The Left parties' suggestions not to burden the people by reducing taxes and duties to meet the hike in global prices was "completely ignored", he said, adding the CPI has directed all its units across the country to plan agitations against the government move.
Strongly condemning the increase, RSP leader Abani Roy said the government "which has come to power with the slogan of the 'aam aadmi' has completely ignored the people. The people should rise against this decision".
He said Finance Minister P Chidambaram was "not at all caring for the people and the decision reflects his adamant attitude". Forward Bloc leader G Devarajan said the government should immediately set up a Price Stabilisation Fund to control the increase in prices of petro products.
The Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs on Thursday decided to raise petrol and diesel prices by Rs two and Rs one a litre respectively from midnight on Thursday.