Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan Wednesday demanded that the central government immediately withdraw the hike in petrol and diesel prices and provide relief to the common people.
Petroleum Minister Murli Deora Wednesday evening announced in New Delhi a hike of Rs.four per litre for petrol and of Rs.2 for diesel, effective from the midnight, in tandem with global crude prices.
'This decision to jack up the price of fuel products is a challenge to people. Already people are reeling under a heavy price rise of essential items and this is going to make it worse. This should be withdrawn,' said Achuthanandan here.
State Finance Minister Thomas Isaac said the hike is the first 'reward' by the new government to the people who voted for them.
'Kerala will be affected badly by this price rise and hence it should be withdrawn,' said Isaac.
The state unit of the Communist Party India-Marxist (CPI-M), the main ruling party, asked its cadres to protest this price rise.