Unease in Cong over petrol price hike

  • PTI, New Delhi
  • |
  • Updated: May 23, 2012 22:50 IST
  • Manmohan Singh

    A protester burns a portrait of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during a protest in Odisha against the steep rise in petrol prices. State oil companies ...

  • An employee

    An employee counts notes at a fuel pump in Ahmedabad after the government decided to hike prices of petrol by 11.5%. AP/Ajit Solanki

  • BJP

    BJP protesters burn the effigy of UPA government against the petrol price hike, in Hyderabad. State-run oil firms announced a sharp hike in petrol prices ...

  • market data

    West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee shows market data during a press conference regarding the price hike of petrol, in Kolkata. Also seen in the ...

  • Rs 7.50

    Heavy rush at a petrol pump in New Delhi after the announcement of a hike in petrol price by Rs. 7.50.

  • queue

    Vehicles queue up near a petrol pump in New Delhi. HT/Sonu Mehta

  • Vehicles

    Vehicles queue up near a pump to fill petrol in tanks before the steep hike in price gets effective in New Delhi. HT/Sonu Mehta

  • subsidy

    Oil companies on Tuesday announced a cut in petrol prices by Rs. 2.42 per litre and diesel by Rs. 2.25 a litre.  (AFP File Photo)

  • BJP

    BJP protesters shout slogans as they burn the effigy of the UPA government against the petrol price hike, in Hyderabad. AFP/Noah Seelam

  • vehicles

    People line up to fill their vehicles at an oil pump in Lucknow after the announcement of hike in petrol prices. PTI/Nand Kumar

The steep hike in petrol price on Wednesday caused unease in the Congress with party MPs fearing it could lead to a huge blacklash but a section of party leaders felt it was unavoidable at a time when the focus was on economic reforms.

"There is a compulsion. What to do? Either you sacrifice the economy for immediate gains or all of us share the burden. There is no other option taking into account the economy worldwide," senior party leader and Rajya Sabha MP Satyavrata Chaturvedi told PTI.

He said that while on one hand, there is talk of reforms, on the other hand protests are being made whenever any tough decision is taken.

Party spokesperson Rashid Alvi said, "It is a very difficult decision. But at the same time petrol prices are deregulated and petrol companies are independent to take their decision."

A party MP speaking on the condition of anonymity, however, said that such steep hikes will be damaging for the party and that a number of MPs particularly those from Lok Sabha are "unhappy" with it as they will have a tough time in their constituencies explaining the move.

In the steepest ever increase, petrol rates were today raised by a massive Rs 7.54 per litre, the first hike in rates in six months. This is the steepest hike in petrol price ever, the previous high being Rs 5 per litre. The rates were last increased on November 4 last year.

After the November hike, Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi had said, "Any policy, which does not give the desired result or is not good for the people, can be revisited." He had, however, refused to specifically answer whether the party wants government to review the decision to deregulate petrol prices.

He had then also said that the party was concerned about the rise in prices and that all possible steps, which are required to give relief to the people, should be taken and that this was party's suggestion.


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