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Opposition parties, allies protest fuel hike

New Delhi: The steep hike in the prices of petroleum products triggered countrywide protests on Saturday with opposition parties hitting the streets demanding an immediate rollback even as Congress asked party-ruled states to reduce local levies to give reprieve to the common man.

UPA allies Trinamool Congress, NCP as also outside supporters like Samajwadi Party too deprecated Centre`s move to hike diesel price by Rs 3, domestic LPG by Rs 50 per cylinder and kerosene by Rs.2 per litre and pressed for its withdrawal.

Facing the heat, Congress asked party-ruled states to reduce the customs duty. It said all state governments can bring down taxes according to their financial capacity.

Holding protests across the country, BJP today accused the government of being insensitive to the sufferings of the common man and imposing "economic Emergency" on the country.

Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said this was the 10th time that the UPA government has hiked fuel prices.

"Congress came to power on the slogan `Congress ka haath, aam aadmi ke saath` but has become totally insensitive to the sufferings of the common," she said.

The Left parties-CPI(M), CPI, RSP and Forward Bloc asked all their units to immediately launch hartals, demonstrations and opther protest actions across the country.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who heads the Trinamool Congress, the second largest UPA ally, said she was pained by the Centre`s move and asked it to reduce LPG price.

On her part, she announced withdrawal of cess of Rs.16 per LPG cyliner in the state with immediate effect.

In Mumbai, Maharashtra deputy chief minister and NCP leader Ajit Pawar opposed the hike saying it has increased the hardships of the common man.

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