Chennai: While blaming the Congress-led UPA regime for the present crisis arising out of the steep hike in the prices of petrol and diesel, AIADMK senior and Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M. Thambidurai has called upon the Centre to revert to the practise of government-led fixation of fuel prices.
“The Congress is responsible for the hike in the prices of petrol and diesel. Bandhs called by the Opposition are common, but Congress leading this particular bandh is disingenuous. It was under the Congress rule' in the Centre that the authority to regulate oil prices in the country was handed over to private companies. This has hurt the public while profiting private players,” Mr. Thambidurai said. Speaking to reporters at the airport here on Monday he said the present government at the Centre has only been following previously set down plans.
The AIADMK did not participate in the bandh on Monday and said it wanted the Centre to intervene to tackle fuel price rise. “The rise in fuel prices is condemnable. We want the prices to be brought down. The Centre should revert to the practise of the government-led fixation of fuel prices,” Mr. Thambidurai said.
The nation-wide bandh has been called by the Congress over rising fuel prices and depreciation of the rupee. In Tamil Nadu, the bandh was supported by the DMK and other opposition parties.
To a question on bringing petrol diesel under GST, as a measure to reduce the prices of fuel, he said the prices were bound to increase further if it was brought under GST. “Further, it is the Centre that should reduce the prices and not infringe upon the States’ rights,” he said.