NEW DELHI: In what could be termed as the cruelest twist to the tale, the government hiked petrol price by `7.50 per litre — the steepest ever — starting midnight on Wednesday, just a day after it celebrated the third anniversary of UPA-II with many pious promises.
In response, TN Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa lashed out at the Congress and DMK for the petrol price hike and sought an immediate rollback. She referred to the rise as UPA’s ‘gift’ to the people on its completion of three years in office.
UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s statement at the anniversary event on Tuesday that “we know it is not our words, but our work that will have to be do the talking’’, sounded rather hollow on Wednesday. The very first move that the government undertook after the evening gala, will leave a big hole in the aam aadmi’s pocket.
The decision to hike the petrol price, prompted by the sliding rupee which hit an all-time low of `56 against a dollar on Thursday, was made surreptitiously. The government waited for the Budget session of Parliament to end to come out with this unpopular announcement.
Political parties, including UPA allies DMK and TMC, called the move ‘unfortunate’. The Left parties too strongly opposed the rise and called upon their units to launch protests.
Even Samajwadi Party chief, Mulayam Singh, who was merrily sharing the dais with the UPA members on Tuesday, on Wednesday slammed the move and demanded a rollback.