Mamata opposes fuel price hike; wants govt to reconsider
Making her "unhappiness" very clear by not being present at the meeting of Empowered Group of Ministers who took a decision to hike the fuel prices, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee, on Friday, said her party was not supporting the move and sought reconsideration of the same.
She, however, ruled out any strong action such as withdrawal of support to express her party's opposition, saying "Government has our crucial support and it will remain."
"I am unhappy. I did not go the meeting to give my approval to the decision of hiking the price of LPG, kerosene and diesel," Banerjee said and maintained distance from the government's decision to increase the prices of petrol, diesel, cooking gas and kerosene.
As per EGoM's decision, petrol and diesel will cost up to Rs 3.73 per litre more, households will have to pay an additional Rs 35 per cylinder and poor man's cooking medium kerosene will be dearer by Rs 3 a litre from Friday.
"I had met Finance Minister (Pranab Mukherjee) yesterday to convey my view. Our party does not support the hike because kerosene, LPG and diesel are directly linked with the common people's kitchen. It also affects the farmers," a miffed Banerjee said.
In a major decision to bring petroleum products in line with market rates, the government freed petrol from all pricing controls and hiked diesel prices by Rs two a litre, Oil Secretary S Sundareshan announced after the meeting of the EGoM. Seeking a rollback, Banerjee said, "I will request the government to re-consider the decision to hike the diesel, LPG and kerosene prices because it will result in increase in prices of other commodities."
She ruled out any strong action to express her party's opposition to the government's decision. "Our party has 19 members and the government has 271 members. We are not a very big party but we can raise our voice. We can give our views but they (Congress) are the major party. So they have to take a decision. I am not going to quarrel regarding this because it won't look nice...But in democracy, there are some system and in the system we will raise our voice," she said. "Government has our crucial support and it will remain. But at the same time we are not happy about it (price hike)," she said.
At least 11 flights, including the one Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was flying in, were diverted on Friday, due to the bad weather in Delhi, news agency ANI has reported. A heatwave seared Delhi on Friday before thundershowers and gusty winds brought some respite towards the evening. Delhi's primary weather station, Safdarjung Observatory, recorded a maximum temperature of 44.4 degrees Celsius, five notches above normal.
The UT department of environment, in collaboration with Yuvsatta and eco-club of St Joseph's Senior Secondary School, organised an inter-school poster-making contest at the school campus on the theme of 'Plastic Pollution Affects Biodiversity & Healthy Planet' to mark the 'World Biodiversity Day'. Department director Debendra Dalai was the chief guest on the occasion. Over 300 students from 26 city schools participated in the event.
Police's cyber crime investigation cell arrested a Nashik-resident for duping a city resident of ₹3 lakh on the pretext of securing a job for her son. The accused, Umesh Popat Pardeshi, was arrested from Nashik and brought to Chandigarh on transit remand. Police had in April registered a case on the complaint of a resident of Mauli Jagran, Yogesh Chaudhary.
More than 1,000 graduate and post-graduate students were awarded degrees at the 63rd Annual Convocation of Post Graduate Government College for Girls, Sector 11, on Friday. Nishtha Jaswal, vice-chancellor, Himachal Pradesh National Law University, Shimla, was the chief guest at the ceremony, where over 90 students who secured positions in Panjab University examinations and in college were felicitated.
As many as 800 students and 42 faculty members were felicitated during the annual prize distribution function at Goswami Ganesh Dutta Sanatan Dharma (GGDSD) College in Sector 32 on Friday. The function was presided over by UT adviser Dharam Pal. A total of 42 faculty members were given cash prizes for completing their PhD and 89 students were awarded the Roll of Honour, while 77 received College Colours. Students excelling in sports were also felicitated.